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And his disciples believed on him:” that is, were confirmed in the persuasion, that he was the Messiah. The call of Andrew and Peter to a stated attendance on Jesus is recorded by three evangelists. Their father, Jonas, seems to have been dead. For there is no mention of him, as there is of Zebedee, when his two sons wer. called. It is only said of Andrew and Peter, that when Jesus called them, “they left their nets, and followed him.” At that time Jesus made them a magnificent promise. “Follow me,” said he, “ and I will make you fishers of men.” “In time you will be qualified by me to gain men, ‘ and to recover them, in great numbers, from ignorance ‘ and error, folly and vice, and form them to just sentiments “in religion, and the practice of virtue.” From this time they usually attended on our Lord. And " when he completed the number of his apostles, they were put among them. & Having before written the history of St. John at large, I need not be so particular in that of Peter, because these two apostles were much together. However, I intend to take notice of the most remarkable things in his life, especially after our Saviour's ascension. Simon Peter was married when called by our Lord to attend upon him. And upon occasion of that alliance, as it seems, had removed from Bethsaida to Capernaum, where was his wife's family. Upon " her mother our Saviour in a very gracious manner wrought a great miracle of healing. And I suppose, that when our Lord “left Nazareth, and came and dwelled at Capernaum,” (as mentioned Matt. iv. 18,) he made Peter's house" the place of his usual abode, when he was in those parts. I think we have a proof of it in the history just taken notice of. When Jesus came out of the synagogue at Capernaum, “he entered into Simon's house,” Luke iv. 38. Comp. Mark i. 29, which is well paraphrased by Dr. Clarke: “Now when Jesus came out ‘ of the synagogue, he went home to Peter's house.’ And there it was that the people resorted unto him in the evening, Luke iv. 40; Matt. viii. 16; Mark i. 32—34. Another proof of this we have in a history which is in St. Matthew only, ch. xvii. 24–27, of our Lord's paying at
* Matt. iv. 18–20; Mark i. 16–18; Luke v. 1–9. * Matt. x. 1–4; Mark iii. 13–19; Luke vi. 12–16. * Matt. viii. 14, 15; Mark i. 29–31; Luke iv. 38, 39. ° It is called “Peter's house,” Matt. viii. 14. “Simon's house,” Luke iv. 38. “The house of Simon and Andrew,” Mark i. 29.
Caperhaum the tribute-money for the use of the temple, and his directing Peter, when he had found a piece of money, in the manner there prescribed, to pay it for both of them. The text is to this purpose. “And when they were come to Capernaum, they that received the tributemoney, came to Peter, and said: Doth not your master pay tribute 2 He saith, Yes. And when he was come into the house, Jesus prevented him.” The beginning of that account at ver. 24, is thus paraphrased by Dr. Clarke. ‘Now when they were come home to Capernaum, where “Jesus used to dwell, the officers appointed to gather ‘the yearly offering for the service of the temple came to * Peter.” After the miracle of the five loaves, and two fishes, “ straightway Jesus constrained his disciples to get into a ship, and to go before him to the other side, whilst he sent the multitudes away.” In their passage they met with a contrary wind. “In the fourth watch of the night,” near morning, “Jesus came toward them, walking on the sea.” And there not being yet light enough to know who he was, they were affrighted, thinking it had been an apparition, and cried out for fear. Jesus then spake to them, and they knew him. After which follows a particular concerning Peter, related by St. Matthew only. “Peter P answered him, and said : Lord, if it be thou, bid me come unto thee on the water. And he said, Come. And when Peter was come down out of the ship, he walked on the water, to go to Jesus. But when he saw the sea boisterous, he was afraid : and beginning to sink, he cried, saying: Lord, save me. And immediately Jesus stretched forth his hand, and caught him. And when he was come into the ship, the wind ceased.” Peter at first presumed too much upon the strength of his faith, and was forward to show his zeal. However, this must in the end have been of use to confirm his faith. He had here great and sensible experience of the knowledge, as well as the power of Jesus. As soon as his faith failed, our Lord suffered him to sink. And upon his calling for help, Jesus immediately stretched out his hand, and saved him. The next day our Lord preached in the synagogue at Capernaum, as related by St. John, ch. vi. 24–65, where Imany, who expected from the Messiah a worldly kingdom, were offended at his discourse. ...And it is said, ver. 66–69, “From that time many of his disciples,” who had hitherto followed him, and professed faith in him, “went back, and P Matt. xiv. 28–31.
walked no more with him. Then said Jesus unto the twelve: Will ye also go away ? Then Simon Peter answered him: Lord, to whom should we go? Thou hast the words of eternal life. And we know, and are sure, that thou art the Christ, the Son of the living God.” Some time after this, when our Lord had an opportunity of private conversation with the disciples, he inquired of them what men said of him, and then, whom they thought him to be 2 “Simon Peter answered and said, Thou art the Christ, the Son of the living God.” Matt. xvi. 13–16. So far likewise in Mark viii. 27–29, and Luke ix. 18–20. Then follows in Matthew, ver. I7–19. “And Jesus answered, and said unto him, Blessed art thou, Simon BarJona : for flesh and blood hath not revealed it unto thee, but my father which is in heaven.” That is, ‘ It is not a ‘partial affection for me, thy master, nor a fond and incon‘siderate regard to the judgment of others, for whom thou ‘hast a respect, that has induced thee to think thus of me. * But it is a just persuasion formed in thy mind by obsery‘ing the great works which thou hast seen me do by the ‘power of God, in the confirmation of my mission and ‘doctrine,” “And I say unto thee, Thou art Peter, and upon this rock will I build my church. And I will give unto thee the keys of the kingdom of heaven.” By which many interpreters suppose, that 4 our Lord promised to Peter, that he should have the honour of beginning to preach the gospel, after his resurrection, to Jews and Gentiles, and of receiving them into the church. If so, that is personal. Nevertheless, what follows: “And whatsoever thou shalt bind on earth, shall be bound in heaven. And whatsoever thou shalt loose on earth, shall be loosed in heaven.” This, I say, must have been the privilege of all the apostles. For the like things are expressly said to them, Luke xxii. 29, 30, John xx. 21–23. Moreover, all the apostles concurred with Peter in the first preaching both to Jews and Gentiles. As he was president in the college of the apostles, it was very fit, and a thing of course, that he should be primarily
* Dr. Clarke is very singular in his paraphrase of that text. Matt. xvi. 18, ‘You shall be the first preacher of my true religion to the Gentile world.’ And ver. 19, ‘Youshall first open the kingdom of the Messiah, and make the ‘ first publication of the gospel to the Gentiles. Upon both verses also referring to Acts x. When I first observed this, I was surprised. Nor could I See the ground of it. But now I guess, that he confined this personal privilege to Peter's first preaching to Gentiles at the house of Cornelius, because Peter was then alone, and none of the apostles were there with him: whereas after the pouring out of the Holy Ghost, all the apostles were present with him. Acts ii. 14, “But Peter, standing up with the eleven, lift up his voice.”—
concerned in the first opening of things. The confession, now particularly before us, was made by him. ... But it was in answer to a question that had been put to all. And he spoke the sense of all the apostles, and in their name. I suppose this to be as true in this instance, as in the other, before taken notice of, which is in John vi. 68, 69. In the account which St. John has given of our Saviour's washing the disciples’ feet, Peter's modesty and fervour are conspicuous, John xiii. 1–10. When the Jewish officers were about to apprehend our Lord, “Peter having a sword, drew it, and smote a servant of the high priest, and cut off his right ear.” Our Lord having .. Peter, touched the servant’s ear, and healed him. So great is Jesus every where ! They that laid hold of Jesus, led him away to the house of Caiaphas. The rest of the disciples now forsook their Master, and fled. “But Peter followed him afar off unto the high priest's palace, and went in, and sat with the servants to see the end.” Here Peter thrice disowned his Lord, peremptorily denying that he was one of his disciples, or had any knowledge of him, as related by * all the evangelists. For which he soon after humbled himself, and wept bitterly. We do not perceive that Peter followed our Lord any farther, or that he at all attended the crucifixion. It is likely that he was under too much concern of mind to appear in public, and that he chose retirement, as most suitable to his present temper and circumstances. On the first day of the week, early in the morning, when Mary Magdalene, and other women came to the sepulchre, bringing the sweet spices which they had prepared, “ they saw an angel, who said unto them, Be not affrighted. , Ye seek Jesus, who was crucified. He is not here: for he is risen. Go quickly, and tell his disciples that he is risen from the dead :” as in Matthew. “Tell his disciples, and Peter:” as in Mark. “And behold he goes before you into Galilee.” That was a most gracious disposal of Providence, to support the disciples, Peter in particular, under their great affliction. Our Lord first showed himself to Mary Magdalene, and afterwards to some other women. On the same day likewise on which he arose from the dead, he showed himself to Peter, though the circumstances of this appearance are nowhere related. However it is evident from Luke xxiv. 33, 34. For when the two disciples who had been at “Emmaus, returned to Jerusalem, they found the eleven gathered together, and those that were with them, saying, The Lord is risen indeed, and has appeared unto Simon.” That must be the same appearance which is mentioned by St. Paul, I Cor. xv. 5, “ and that he was seen of Cephas, then of the twelve.” And it has been observed, that as Mary Magdalene was the first woman, so " Peter was the first man to whom Jesus showed himself after he was risen from the dead.
* John xviii. 10, 11; Matt. xxvi. 51—54; Mark xiv. 46, 47; Luke xxii. 50, 51. * Matt. xxvi. 57–71; Mark xiv. 53–72; Luke xxii. 54–62; John xviii. 15–27. * Matt. xxviii; Mark xvi; Luke xxiv.; John xx.
In the twenty-first chapter of St. John's gospel are some appearances of our Lord to his disciples, in which Peter is greatly interested, to which the attentive reader is referred. Our Lord there graciously affords Peter an opportunity of making a threefold profession of love for him : which he accepts, and renews to him the apostolical commission, and as it were re-instates him in his high and important office :. requiring him, as the best testimony of love for his Lord, to feed his sheep with fidelity and tenderness. . And notwithstanding his late unsteadiness, our Lord encourageth this disciple to hope, that in his future conduct he would set an example of resolution and fortitude under great difficulties, and at length glorify God by his death, in the service to which he had been appointed.
As we have now proceeded in the history of this apostle to the time of our Lord's ascension, it may be worth the while to look back, and observe those things in the gospels, which imply his peculiar distinction, or at least are honourable to him.
By Mark ch. v. 37, and Luke viii. 51, we are assured, that Peter was one of the three disciples whom our Lord admitted to be present at the raising of Jairus's daughter. That particular is not mentioned by Matthew, ch. ix. 18–26. From all the first three evangelists we know, that Peter was one of the three whom our Lord took up with him into the mountain, where he was gloriously transformed, Matt. xvii. 1; Mark ix. 2; Luke ix. 28. He was also one of the three whom our Lord took with him apart from the other disciples, when he retired to prayer, a little before his last sufferings. As we know from Matt. xxvi. 37; Mark xiv. 33. But that particular is omitted by Luke, ch. xxii. 39–46.
th a\A’sy avépact rary Trporp, rop uaxtsa avrov Troösvrt wisiv. Chrys. in 1 Cor. hom. 38. Tom. X.
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