In the Scriptures, we see great variety in the Apostles who are gathered around the Lord Jesus. There is the impulsive Peter, and the reasoning Thomas. There are some like Simon Zelotes who are never prominent, while others like James and John are always in the foreground.
Peter is singled out as a leader from the beginning, and so continues throughout. He is notable for making mistakes, and consequently in suffering rebukes. He possessed a passionate nature that was ready to act—and often fail. But such a nature would also be quick to express affection, and would receive affection in return. This course of events reached a pinnacle when Peter denied the Lord and was then brought back into fellowship with Him. His repeated failures brought Peter from a condition of weak, ignorant, self-confidence to a better understanding of himself, and a closer, more dependent walk with his Savior.
In the book of Acts he is the stirring, leading one still. He instructs the rest in the mystery of Judas’ lost apostleship and the taking of his office by another. He preaches on the day of Pentecost, and again on the occasion of the healing of the lame beggar at the gate of the Temple. He answers the challenges of the rulers. He is put into prison. He maintains the purity of the house of God by the judgment of Ananias and Sapphira.
He travels extensively, and in the distant parts of Lydda and Saron he comforts the saints by the raising of Tabitha. He then goes to Caesarea, to gather the first converts among the Gentiles. After this, he establishes the hearts of his brethren in Jerusalem by recounting the hand of God on his ministry.
At last, he is cast into prison a second time, but brought forth through the sovereign intervention of God. Other incidents mark the special place which this dear man held among the Apostles. Each of them might well afford a distinct meditation for the profit of our souls: his walking for a little moment on the water, his word to the collector of the tribute-money, his cutting off the ear of the High Priest’s servant in the garden, and others. But I trust these few will give us an appreciation for the character of this remarkable man, Peter.
—Adapted from Girdle of Truth.