“Simon Peter answered him, ‘Lord, to whom shall we go? You have the words of eternal life’” (John 6:68).

The four gospels are full of Peter. After the name of our Lord, no name comes up so often in the gospels as Peter’s. No disciple speaks so often and so much as Peter. Our Lord speaks more often to Peter than to any other of His disciples, sometimes in blame and sometimes in praise. No other disciple ever so boldly confessed and outspokenly acknowledged and encouraged our Lord as Peter did repeatedly, and no one ever intruded and interfered and tempted Him as Peter did. Peter’s footprints are unmistakable throughout the New Testament. Hasty, headlong, speaking impertinently and unadvisedly, ready to repent, ever wading into waters too deep for him, and ever turning to his Master again like a child. Peter was sanguine and enthusiastic and extreme both for good and for evil, beyond the other disciples. All of Peter’s faults, indeed, lay in the heat of his heart. He was too hot-hearted, too impulsive, too enthusiastic. His hot heart was always in his mouth, and he spoke it all out many a time when he should have held his peace.

His Master saw in Peter latent qualities of courage, fidelity, endurance and humility. Under the teaching and training of His Master, Peter’s too-hot heart was gradually brought under control till it became the seat in Peter’s bosom of a deep, pure, deathless love and adoration of Jesus Christ. Let us be like Peter, and especially let us watch, work and pray against a cold heart, and a distant, selfish, indifferent mind.

Adapted from In His Presence (Whyte)