Whitbourne Baptist Chapel

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Peter the Person

Peter has 4 different other names: Simeon (Hebrew) or Simon (Greek) and Cephas (Aramaic) or Petros (Greek) – both mean Rock. It was common for people to have more than one name depending on whether the person they were talking to spoke Hebrew, Greek or Aramaic

Peter has a brother called Andrew Matt 4 v 18

Peter father is called Jonah (or John)

He came from a town called Bethsaida. John 1 v 44

He is a fisherman. Matt 4 v 18

Jesus renamed him Peter, which means Rock.  

He is bold, although a little reckless.  Doesn’t always think before he acts, cutting off the ear of the high priest’s servant in the garden of Gethsemane.

There is no biblical record of his death, but many people believe he died in about 64AD, in Rome, when Nero was Caesar.

Although Catholics believe Peter to be the first Pope he was married, as Jesus healed his mother in law Matt 8 v 14 and Paul talks about Peter taking his wife with him. 1 Corinthians 9 v 5 – this also tells us that Peter included his wife in his journeys. Other historical writings have also described Peter’s children and that Peter was there when his wife was martyred.

Peter the Christian

He says that he will be the Rock on which the church is founded.  This makes Peter an important influence as to how the church should act. Matt 16v 17 -18

In this same passage Jesus tells Peter he will give him the keys to heaven.  This is why Peter is often depicted at the gate of heaven letting people in. Jesus was saying that is would Peter job to carry on preaching the gospel, leading people to Jesus thereby leading them and letting them into heaven.  Matt 16 v 19  He says will give, a future tense, again because this will happen after Jesus has gone back to heaven.


He was a Jew, but unlike Paul he didn’t have a blinding light and a sudden conversion, in the same way.  He was slow to learn what God wanted him to do, and he had many lessons to learn.  Peter has to find his way and learn how to use his strengths for God’s plan.

Has faith, but needed to leave to trust completely. When he walked on water, starts off ok, but then looks away from Jesus, and starts to sink.  A very good illustration of how we should be in our lives,; with our eyes fixed on Jesus always.  Matt 14 v 25 - 31

He is bold, and when he is lead by the Holy Spirit he spreads the gospel. Acts 4 is just one example.  He is in front of the same people who had Jesus killed and he preaches to them, and just tells them like it is.

Even Peter needed follow Christians to keep him in the right direction; Paul corrects him about the Gentiles and circumcision. Therefore he was not above anyone else as the Pope is considered. Galatians 2 v 11 -14

Another example of his boldness is when they hear that Jesus’ tomb is empty.  Peter and John run to the tomb, John gets there first and stays outside.  Peter, without thinking goes straight in.  John 20 v 3 – 8

His eagerness is shown in John 21 v 7 – 11. He jumps overboard and swims to the shore to meet Jesus.  Then Jesus asks Peter three times if he loved him.  Three times to signify the three denials.  Jesus forgives him, and tells him what he must do. John 21 v 15 - 17

Peter’s authority is shown in Acts 5 v 1 – 11 and 8 v 9 – 24. Peter takes hold of the situations and the power that Jesus had promised him is shown.

He was the first Apostle to preach to non-Jews. In his vision God tells him that the clean and unclean no longer applied. Acts 10 v 15 – 16.  Note it happens 3 times.  Then goes to Cornelius’ house and Holy Spirits comes on them. Acts 10 v 34 – 35.  Then explains his actions to the others Acts 11 v 15 - 18

He would die for his faith. Jesus predicts his death, after he has asked him 3 times if Peter loves him.  John 21 v 18 - 19  

Peter the example

One of the biggest example that Peter shows us that even if we are in the very presence of Jesus and no matter how well meaning we are, we will all sin, but we can all be forgiven if we are truly sorry.  Peter and Judas both betrayed Jesus on the same night.  Both realised that what they had done was wrong, but they reacted in different ways.  Judas hung himself.  Peter wept and said sorry, and he was forgiven.  

He learns not to be afraid of what people think about him, and just does what God tells him too. Acts 5 v 18 -

He is just human, a normal man of no great standing that God uses to build his church on. He is not a high priest or man of great power.

Preach to anyone that would listen, showed no prejudice.  

The Disciples