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Has anyone more completely overcome mortal selfishness and weakness? Has anyone repented more sincerely? Peter has been accused of being harsh, indiscreet, impetuous, and fearful. If all these were true, then we still ask, Has any man ever more completely triumphed over his weaknesses?

Diamond in the Rough : A Refining 40-Day Devotional Journal by Tracy Xavier (2012, Paperback)

The Lord knew well the guilelessness of Nathaniel, the tender love of John, the erudition of Nicodemus, and the faithfulness and devotion of James and the other brethren. In short, he knew men; yet he chose from all of them this great character who possessed the virtues, powers, and leadership needed to give stability to the church and to lead men to accept the gospel and follow truth. When Christ chose this fisherman for his first and chief Apostle, he was taking no chances. He picked a diamond in the rough—a diamond that would need to be cut, trimmed, and polished by correction, chastisement, and trials—but nevertheless a diamond of real quality.

The Savior knew this Apostle could be trusted to receive the keys of the kingdom, the sealing and the loosing power. Like other humans, Peter might make some errors in his developing process, but he would be solid, trustworthy, and dependable as a leader of the kingdom of God. Even with so perfect a teacher, it was difficult to learn the vast gospel plan in three years.

And Jesus said unto them, Verily I say unto you, That ye which have followed me, in the regeneration when the Son of man shall sit in the throne of his glory, ye also shall sit upon twelve thrones, judging the twelve tribes of Israel. Matthew — Is it conceivable that the omniscient Lord would give all these powers and keys to one who was a failure or unworthy? If Peter was cowardly, how brave he became in so short a time.

If he was weak and vacillating, how strong and positive he became in weeks and months. If he was unkind, how tender and sympathetic he became almost immediately. Responsibility as a refiner and a purger usually takes time.

Daily Devotional

If Peter was frightened in the court when he denied his association with the Lord, how brave he was hours earlier when he drew his sword against an overpowering enemy, the night mob. Does this portray cowardice?

What God Can Do in Daily Devotions – John Piper

Quite a bold assertion for a timid one. Remember that Peter never denied the divinity of Christ.

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He only denied his association or acquaintance with the Christ, which is quite a different matter. Could there still have been some lack of understanding concerning the total unfolding of the plan? Being a leader, Peter was a special target of the adversary. As the Lord said,. Peter was under fire; all the hosts of hell were against him. If Satan could destroy Simon now, what a victory he would score. Here was the greatest of all living men.

Lucifer wanted to confuse him, frustrate him, limit his prestige, and totally destroy him. However, this was not to be, for he was chosen for and ordained to a high purpose in heaven, as was Abraham. Peter followed the Savior to his trial and sat in the outer court.

What else could he do? He knew that many times the Savior himself had escaped from the crowd by slipping out of their clutches. Would he again do so? Though the Lord taught of the coming Crucifixion and Resurrection, neither Simon nor anyone else fully comprehended his meaning. Was this so strange? Never before had there been such a person or such an occurrence on the earth. Millions today cannot understand the Resurrection, even though it has been preached for nineteen hundred years as a reality with many infallible proofs.

Could these men, then, be criticized for not fully understanding this frustrating situation? Could he have felt that circumstances justified expediency? Could Peter have felt this was not the time to tell of Christ?

Surely Peter did not think of this escape as cowardice but as wise expediency. He was promptly chastised for suggesting escape from the [4] tragedy.

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What this meant—that the hour was now come—Peter may not have fully realized, but he was prohibited from resisting the coming Crucifixion by the Redeemer himself. Was he frustrated? Perhaps for the moment, but how many of us in a hostile camp, totally helpless to save, would champion the Lord under such circumstances, especially when previous efforts had been repulsed? Simon had courageously manifested his willingness to alone fight the great mob to protect his Master.

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At the risk of death he had struck the contemptible Malthus and sliced off his ear. But this act of bravery and personal disregard was stopped by the Lord, who said to his loyal Apostle:. Thinkest thou that I cannot now pray to my Father, and he shall presently give me more than twelve legions of angels? What more could Peter do? How else could he show his loyalty and courage? Could it be that in these last hours Peter realized that he should stop protecting his Lord, that the Crucifixion was inevitable, and that regardless of all his acts, the Lord was moving toward his destiny?

I do not know. I only know that this Apostle was brave and fearless.

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Events followed each other in rapid succession. At Gethsemane Peter was futilely trying to defend his Lord one hour; in the next he was following the mob. Apparently the Savior was voluntarily suffering men to heap monumental indignities upon him. What should Peter do? This was a critical moment. He had tried. He had seen one Apostle betray his Master with a kiss, and his Master had not repulsed him.

Peter had been reminded that angels could be summoned if protection was needed; he had been commanded to put away his sword. Even now he did not desert his Master but followed sorrowfully behind the jeering crowd. He would remain to the end. He likely heard every accusation, saw every indignity heaped upon his Lord, felt all the injustice of the mock trial, and noted the perfidy of false witnesses perjuring their souls. He saw them foully expectorate in the face of the Holy One; he saw them buffet, strike, slap, and taunt him.

A Man​​ with Vision

He observed the Lord making no resistance, calling for no protective legions of angels, asking for no mercy. What was Peter to think now? What would his further defense of the Lord accomplish in this situation? Would it displease Jesus? Would it only destroy Peter himself without [5] beneficial effect? Would Christ want him to fight now, when he had denied him that privilege earlier that evening?