Perhaps no one ever had a stronger attachment to our savior than the Apostle Simon, called Peter by our Lord, which is a word meaning “stone”. The Bible is known for it’s frankness of speech, never attempting to conceal the weaknesses of sins of those characters who were of high repute and standing in the sight of God. David, for instance, was said to be “a man after mine own heart” by God (Acts 13:22 KJV), yet there are a number of sins pointed out in the scriptures, committed by him.
Peter was a Galilean, the son of a fisherman Jonah (Jona). He and his brother Andrew and their father were fishermen with their own boat. These men worked in a partnership arrangement with another man with two sons. Zebedee’s sons were James and John. These two men along with Simon and Andrew were chosen to become apostles to Jesus Christ.
Jesus later named Simon, “Cephas” (Aramaic word for stone, the same as Peter in the Greek) apparently because of his strong faith. Peter was considered highly by Jesus and the other apostles. He has also found favor in the minds of many bible students who can relate to him. He, seemingly was more like an ordinary Christian than most, or at least his actions and ways are expressed so in the scriptures.
Peter, James and John, seemingly , were the apostles Jesus preferred to have with him, or perhaps they may be the ones who chose to be with him. They were invited to go with Jesus when he went into the mount to be transfigured. As Jesus knelt and prayed, the apostles, who were tired, went to sleep. It appears from the record that they almost missed the transfiguration and the visit of Moses and Elijah as they spoke with Jesus. (Luke 9:29-32 KJV) Another time when the apostles were with Jesus in Gethsemane, he asked the three to wait for him as he went to pray. When he returned, he found them sleeping.
Scholars remember when the Roman soldiers came with Judas Iscariot to take Jesus, Peter was the one who drew his sword and sliced off the ear of one of the soldiers. Jesus then told him to put away his sword and healed the ear of the soldier.
Perhaps only an hour or so before this incident, Jesus had washed the apostles feet to give them a lesson in humility, Peter had rebuked him and would not allow him to wash his feet, but after Jesus told him if he did not, he would have no part in him…Peter then told him to wash his feet, or even his whole body.
In just a few hours, after Jesus had prophesied that he would deny him thrice before the cock crowed twice. Then after the soldiers took Jesus to Pilate, Peter was gathered with a crowd who warming themselves by a fire outside the building where Jesus was being interrogated by Pilate, he was asked by bystanders if he had not been seen with Jesus. He denied it all three times, the third time with cursing. When he heard the cock crow, he remembered what Jesus had said and he went out and wept bitterly.
This event showed his human weakness during the time of being around hostile witnesses but the fact which made Jesus feel so strongly for him was shown in the fact that he repented so earnestly with tears.
Later, after Paul had been made an apostle and God had shown them, including Peter, that there was to no longer be any difference in the Jew and the Gentile, Peter again showed his human weakness.
There were gathered together, a number of followers of Christ, largely Gentiles whom Peter was talking to and associating with until more of the Jews arrived and Peter moved away from the Gentiles, since in the past, the Jews were forbidden to associate openly with the Gentiles. But Paul confronted and rebuked him for it.
Needless to say, the apostle Peter went on to become a strong influence for Jesus and , although not recorded in the Bible, tradition has it that he was imprisoned and sentenced to death for not renouncing his faith in Jesus. And, also according to tradition, it is reported that he being sentenced to be crucified, requested them to crucify him upside down, as he deemed himself unworthy to hang as the savior did. And it is reported that they did according to his wishes.
God knows our weaknesses and our strengths. When we sin unintentionally, his grace will not allow those sins to be imputed to us. But be sure, he knows the difference in willful and unintentional sins. Sins which are committed unknowingly due to willful ignorance or lack of knowledge, are the same as willful sins. Night cometh.