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man, O Lord.” This is a remarkable step; no doubt he was converted before this, but he had never before felt himself in the presence of God, and he is sensible of his unfitness. “He fell down at Jesus' knees, saying, Depart from me ; for I am a sinful man, O Lord.”
It is the sense of unfitness, not any reluctance to be with Him. Jesus says, “ Fear not; from henceforth thou shalt catch men.
As it was the Lord who awakened the fear, so He is the One to remove it. This is a very important step. The blind man had reached it, if he had not surpassed it, when he could say, “I believe, Lord : and he worshipped him.” Now this man was isolated from all that was esteemed among men; he was in the solitude of light. Man morally was outside of him.
The next definite step is “the new bottle,” in the end of Luke v. When the Bridegroom should be taken away, the children of the bridechamber should fast. As to earth, the source of happiness was gone, but there was to be given "new wine;" but this new wine must be put into “new bottles.” The Lord had come—the "new piece but you could not attach Him to the old. The rent or severance between them would then only be the more apparent.
The more we keep in mind the unparalleled newness of Christ come on carth, the easier shall we apprehend that nothing already here could comport with Him. All must be new now, and hence there must be a new bottle for the new wine. It was no more to be the man here, because that indeed the Greatest has come, and the thing now was to receive Him. Everyone receiving Him would be of the new piece, and by the work of God a new bottle for the new wine. Hence while our Lord shews what He is in the ship in the storms _(see Matt. viii. 23–27), He makes Peter sensible of His power to make him walk on the water when not in the ship. It is quite true Peter had not been given, at the time he walked on the water, this great power, but he was made acquainted with it as derived from the Man Christ Jesus, and thus placed in manifest superiority to the things which would swamp man ordinarily. The great thing is to grasp the promotion to which the saint was advanced ; not merely His perfect composure when the storm raged, but His ability to take the position of complete superiority to all the power of evil here. May we have some adequate conception of the greatness to which we are promoted. It is a great step in this new history when we learn, as Peter does, that Christ is the Rock on which the new structure, the assembly, is founded (Matt. xvi.); yet this enlightened Peter cannot discern the difference between what is merely according to men and what is according to God. The Lord has to rebuke him : “thou savourest not of the things that be of God, but those that be of men.” Oh ! how slow we are to leave man, as of Adam, out of our consideration, and think only of God
and the Man who suits Him! A little after, Peter is an eyewitness of the power and coming of our Lord Jesus Christ, and again he confounds Him
- God manifest in flesh-- with Moses and Elias ; so slowly does the heart, under the best influences, see the great distinction between Christ and all other
In the history of Peter we learn our
He was singularly attached to Christ; as we find from John xiii., he could say, "I will lay down my life for thy sake.” He said on a previous occasion, “We have left all and followed thee." It is deeply interesting the attachment which has been created between the soul and Christ. The work of God truly, but it is important to note that this attachment existed before the full effect of His death is known. Peter does not really accept His death, and hence his violence to the high priest's servant. It is much easier to understand Christ's power than Christ's weakness. He crucified in weakness. It is long before
the true and full consequence of Christ's death is a known verity to oneself. It is remarkable that parallel with the terrible sorrow to Peter, that Christ is condemned to die; he is plunged into the deepest humiliation as to himself. He denied the Lord. What a moment of anguish! On the one hand, his heart rent at seeing Him condemned to die, and at the same moment the unutterable shame at his own worthlessness in denying Him. Until this step is learned, a time of unspeakable woe, there is no real severance from one's own self. The death of Christ liberates us when learned, and it is only in His life that I am free from myself. I " thank God through Jesus Christ;" and I can say, "God forbid, that I should glory, save in the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ, by whom the world is crucified unto me, and I unto the world.” The Lord comes to him when He rose, the brightest day of his new history. Peter then receives peace and life, the sense of it at any rate, for the first time;