That We May Know Him


James A. Orrison

There are so many of us in the fast lane of life that rarely take the time, as men or women in the world, and, sadly, even those who are in Christ, to make the required effort to GET TO KNOW HIM. When I say Him, I speak of the Son of God, the one who blessed this world with the riches of his teachings and the grace of his presence. In making sure that we know the Son of God, Jesus Christ, we must always be sure to observe the lives and comments of those that knew him best. To know the love of the Christ, to know the focus of the Christ, to know the monumental difference that was made on this world when God's only begotten gave to all of us his words of wisdom, his teachings, and his example is to barely scratch the surface when it comes to knowing him in the ways that each of us should.

To know him is but to ask the ones that were his earthly companions and inner circle of students, believers, and followers. The apostle Peter is someone who knew the Christ, and, yes, he knew him in ways that I need to in my own life - as you do in yours. Peter was one who would speak too quickly or act too impetuously when faced with the decisions that would impact his life, both immediately and, also, in the future. When we think of Peter and his work during the first century involving the church and its leadership, we think fondly of and are impressed by the role that he played in teaching, exampling, grounding, and settling the church at Jerusalem. These two contrasts - the young and often unsettled Peter, and the pillar of strength and motivation that we see in his later life - make us wonder what the Lord saw in Peter that motivated him to choose him, of all the men that were called, to follow in his steps. What did the divine Son of God envision in this youthful fisherman when he spoke the words, "Follow me and I will make you fishers of men," in Matthew 4:19?

Let us look closely at God's vision in sharp contrast to that of men. God saw Peter not for what he was at the time of his calling but for what he would become later in his calling and work in the kingdom, the church. Too often, when God wants us to do work for him, we are ridden with excuses and fears that prevent us from answering the invitation to serve both God and others. Does God have a special place for you and me in the divine plan and purpose that he enacts every day that the sun rises and the sun sets? Yes, most assuredly, Yes. The wise man Solomon gave the answer in the long ago when he said, "To everything there is a season, and a time to every purpose under the heaven." Ecclesiastes 3:1-8. Jesus had work for Peter to do even though Peter was like many of us: untrained, unschooled, and underdeveloped in the wisdom of God and men. He had no formal training in the Law of Moses. He was just a mere, lowly fisherman, along with his brother Andrew. We need to ask ourselves how Jesus Christ could pick such a man to play a critical and crucial role in the development of the church.

Yes, Peter was quick to act and too quick to speak in his early years, Matthew 14:28, John 21: 7-8, but, just remember this about Peter: he became something he was not expected to be, used opportunities that life opened to him, and chose not to look back on his failures but to look forward to his possibilities. John 21: 15-17, Phil 3:12-14. -P.O. Box 335, Harold, Ky. 41635.


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