696 Peter Always Pursued Knowing God
1 When Peter first followed Jesus, he believed that Jesus was one sent by God, like an apostle, and he did not see Jesus as the Christ. He had experienced the words of God, had dealt with himself, and had suffered hardship for God, but he had no knowledge of the work of God. After a period of experience, Peter saw in Jesus many of the deeds of God, he saw the loveliness of God, and he saw much of God’s being in Jesus. So too did he see that the words Jesus spoke could not have been spoken by man, and that the work Jesus did could not have been done by man. In Jesus’ words and actions, furthermore, Peter saw much of the wisdom of God, and much work of a divine nature.
2 During his experiences, Peter did not merely come to know himself, but also paid close attention to Jesus’ every action, from which he discovered many new things; namely, that there were many expressions of the practical God in the work that God did through Jesus, and that Jesus differed from an ordinary man in the words He spoke and the actions He took, as well as the way in which He shepherded the churches and the work He carried out. And so Peter learned from Jesus many lessons that he was supposed to learn, and by the time Jesus was about to be nailed to the cross, he had gained a certain amount of knowledge of Jesus—knowledge that became the basis of Peter’s lifelong loyalty to Jesus and of his crucifixion upside down for the sake of the Lord.
Adapted from “Only Those Who Know God Can Bear Testimony to God”
in The Word Appears in the Flesh