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The Making of an Apostle   By: (1867-1956)

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Small Books on Great Subjects. XI.

THE MAKING OF AN APOSTLE.

By R. J. Campbell.

LONDON: JAMES CLARKE & CO.,

13 & 14, Fleet Street.

1898.

First Edition, October, 1898.

Contents.

The Making of an Apostle

Simon Meets with Jesus

The Call to Service

Simon's First Commission as a Preacher

Simon Acknowledges Jesus to be the Christ

Simon Peter Witnesses the Transfiguration

Peter Thinks his Sacrifice Complete

The Scene in the Upper Room

Gethsemane and After

The Power of the Resurrection

A New Commission

The Prince of the Apostles

THE MAKING OF AN APOSTLE.

The New Testament supplies us with little in the way of biography. Even from the Gospels themselves we do not gather much concerning the actual life of our Lord apart from His public ministry. It has been justly said that no person has ever influenced the history of the world on such a scale as Jesus of Nazareth, yet it would be impossible to write a chronological life of the Founder of Christianity. What is true of the Master is true of His followers. We know very little about the Apostles themselves; apart from their life work of preaching Christ, the details of their circumstances and fortunes are most meagre. Yet it is worth while from such materials as we have to attempt to trace the influence of Jesus Christ upon those through whom He founded His Church upon earth. The choice of Apostles, for instance, is sometimes regarded as having been made in a very exceptional or semi miraculous way, that Jesus summoned to His side individuals upon whom His gaze fell for the first time, and that these men forthwith became the instruments of His service. But from comparison of the Gospel narratives we discover that very interesting life stories might be written concerning the men who stood closest to Jesus during His earthly ministry. We find, as we might have expected, that Jesus took in them an active personal interest, that their lives were shaped under His influence as clay in the hands of the potter, that He had a plan with each of them, and patiently worked at it, that He applied to them a discriminating treatment and placed upon each his own individual value. Is not the same process going forward even now? Does not the risen Lord still continue to issue His summonses to the souls of men? We feel that it were better to think so, and that He by whom the very hairs of our head are all numbered still gives to His servants in the world individual care, interest and attention, fashioning heroes and saints out of the most unpromising materials, and making apostles as in the days of old.

As an example of Jesus's ways of dealing with His servants the life of the Apostle Peter is most suggestive. In the first place, because he was admitted to be the leader of the Apostles, or at any rate occupied the position of greatest prominence amongst them, and also because we are able by the comparative method to obtain from the Gospels sufficient information for a history of his character, if not of his career during the three most formative years of his life.

I.

Simon Meets with Jesus.

We are fortunate in possessing an account of the first occasion on which Simon, the Galilean fisherman, met with Jesus of Nazareth. We are told (John i. 35 42) that immediately after the Baptism of Jesus, and, therefore, before His public ministry began, John the Baptist made a semi public declaration that He was the long expected Holy One of Israel. His words, as recorded in the Fourth Gospel, are: "I knew Him not: but He that sent me to baptize with water, He said unto me, Upon whomsover thou shalt see the Spirit descending, and abiding upon Him, the same is He that baptizeth with the Holy Spirit. And I have seen, and have borne witness that this is the Son of God." With the exception of the mother of Jesus, John the Baptist appears to have been the only person, who, at this particular time, was perfectly convinced, without a word from Jesus Himself, that the long expected Messiah had appeared... Continue reading book >>




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