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The First Epistle of PETER
pp. 153 - 159
"Peter, an apostle of Jesus Christ, to the strangers scattered throughout Pontus,
Galatia, Cappadocia, Asia and Bithynia" (I Peter 1: 1).
An apostle is one sent away by another. In the gospels we find the Lord Jesus
instructing Peter for his role after Calvary. In Luke's gospel our Lord Jesus tells Simon
He has prayed for him that he might not fall to the attack of Satan:
"And the Lord said, Simon, Simon, behold, Satan hath desired to have you, that he
might sift you as wheat: But I have prayed for thee, that thy faith fail not; and when thou
art converted, strengthen thy brethren" (Luke 22: 31, 32).
What does it mean, "when thou art converted?" The phrase reminds us of God's
prophecy to Israel through Isaiah:
"Make the heart of this people fat, and make their ears heavy, and shut their eyes; lest
they see with their eyes, and hear with their ears, and understand with their heart, and
convert, and be healed" (Isa. 6: 10).
The warning to Israel although repeated in Matt. 13: 15 finally found fulfillment in
spiritual blindness for most at the end of Acts. This spiritual blindness will be lifted as
foretold in Jer. 31: 33 "I will put My law in their inward parts, and write it in their
Peter and the elect remnant of Israel in Acts enjoyed a foretaste of the yet future days
of Jer. 31: 31, in as much as their minds were opened to the truth. Thus we find Peter
failing to believe or understand many of the statements of Christ and even denying Him,
and all this before Pentecost, but after Pentecost he is prepared to brave the Sanhedrin
and is a changed man:
"Peter, filled with the Holy Ghost, said unto them, Ye rulers of the people . . . . . by
the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth, Whom ye crucified, Whom God raised from the
dead, even by Him doth this man stand before you whole . . . . . now when they saw the
boldness of Peter and John . . . . . they marveled" (Acts 4: 8-13).
It appears then that Peter has experienced the conversion referred to by our Lord in
Luke 22: and now in these two epistles to the dispersed Jews of Asia Minor he is
writing to strengthen his brethren, having now wisdom and spiritual understanding
supplied by the promised additional Comforter or Holy Spirit.
In the last chapter of John's gospel the risen Lord appears to Peter and the following
dialogue is recorded: