“In fact, to this course you were called, because even Christ suffered for you, leaving you a model for you to follow his steps closely.”—1 PETER 2:21.
DURING a period of three and a half years, Simon, who became known as Cephas, or Peter, had the privilege of enjoying intimate association with Christ Jesus. (John 1:35-42) After about a year of discipleship, he was named as one of the 12 apostles. (Mark 3:13-19) The Gospel accounts show that Peter was bold, impulsive, and expressive. He was the one who said he would never deny Christ, come what may. Yet, under pressure, he denied him three times, even as Jesus had prophesied.—Matthew 26:31-35; Mark 14:66-72.
Peter was the apostle who said to Jesus, “You will certainly never wash my feet.” Then when Jesus admonished him, he went to the other extreme and said, “Lord, not my feet only, but also my hands and my head.” (John 13:1-17) It was this same Simon Peter who, when Jesus was arrested, acted boldly by drawing his sword and slashing off the right ear of Malchus, the slave of the high priest. That also drew a rebuke from Jesus: “Put the sword into its sheath. The cup that the Father has given me, should I not by all means drink it?”—John 18:10, 11.
What do these and other incidents indicate about Peter? That very often he did not think and reason like Jesus. Further, that he did not always have the mind of Christ. That is often true in our own case. We fail to focus on matters in line with Jesus’ way of thinking. Our reactions are flawed by our imperfect human nature.—Luke 9:46-50; Romans 7:21-23.
However, things began to change for Peter from Pentecost onward. Moved by holy spirit, he spearheaded the preaching work among the Jews in Jerusalem. (Acts, chapters 2–5) Under the illumination of holy spirit, he also adjusted his thinking to be in line with the mind of Christ regarding the Gentiles. (Acts, chapter 10) Peter showed humility, a quality that is essential for us if we want to be in harmony with Christ.—Matthew 18:3; 23:12.