by Clarence E. Macartney

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The Trial of Peter (10 of 15)
Series: The Trials of Great Bible Characters
Clarence E. Macartney
John 1:42; 1 Peter 1:7

That is the story of the trial of Peter: how Christ transformed a man of clay into a stone. The geologist tells us that much of the rock that now forms the surface of the earth was once clay. So every human soul has in it the capacity, under divine grace, to become a redeemed soul, to become a character and personality upon whom men can build.

One of the joys of heaven to which we can look forward with the greatest expectation will be the joy of seeing and meeting and hearing the great personalities of the Bible: Abraham, Joseph, Moses, Elijah, Daniel, David, Isaiah, Jeremiah, Jonah, John, Barnabas, Paul, and Peter. I imagine, too, that the one that we shall have the least difficulty in recognizing will be Peter. He is the one of the apostles about whom we know the most. He spoke more, asked more questions, uttered more exclamations and ejaculations than all the others; and more than all the others, too, he was instructed, exhorted, reprimanded, warned, and blessed by Christ. Not only what Peter said, but what he did, and the way in which he did it, makes him a man who reveals himself and is easily identified. Such a character as Peter could never have been invented or counterfeited. Any of the other apostles would have looked foolish and sounded foolish if he had tried to talk like Peter or act like Peter.

Peter is the man of impulse and of quick action following those impulses. For that reason he appears sometimes as a man who contradicts himself. Some of his actions and some of his words are in striking contrast with others. So he has been described as a man who is ''consistently inconsistent.'' He salutes Jesus as the Son of God, and the next moment tries to give advice to the Son of God and receives a severe reprimand from Jesus. When he heard Jesus say, that night on the stormy sea of Galilee, ''It is I; be not afraid!'' immedia ...

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