Peter, After the Transfiguration

As we saw last week, Peter and the other disciples saw Jesus at least three times after the resurrection.  Jesus reaffirmed Peter’s denial of him, by asking “lovest thou me” and commanding Peter to “command his sheep”.

So, what happened to Peter next?

Acts 1 tells of the Transfiguration where Jesus was raised into heaven.  Those that were present are not listed by name, but it seems very probable that the disciples would have been present.  Acts 1:2 speaks of Jesus “given commandments unto the apostles whom he had chosen.”    Verse 4 goes on to say that Jesus was “assembled together with them.”

Jesus ascended into heaven

Before his ascension, Jesus “commanded them that they should not depart Jerusalem” but wait for the holy spirit.  {Acts 1:4}

Acts 1:9 tells us, “ And when he had spoken these things, while they beheld, he was taken up; and a cloud received him out of their sight.   And while they looked steadfastly toward heaven as he went up.”

So this makes it clear that Peter and the ten other apostles {Judas was dead} were present at the transfiguration.

So, what happened next?

Peter and the disciples were blinded

“ Then returned they unto Jerusalem from the mount called Olivet, which is from Jerusalem a sabbath day’s journey.”  {Acts 1:12}

In verse 13, we are told they went to the upper room.  Peter is the first listed among the eleven disciples.  Have you noticed that in the listings of the disciples, Peter is always the first one listed?

In Acts 1:15, we are told: “And in those days Peter stood up in the midst of the disciples.”   Peter is clearly taking a leadership role now that Jesus has ascended.

“God can find hiding-places for his people. They made supplication. All God’s people are

Peter and the others waited for the holy spirit to arrive

praying people. It was now a time of trouble and danger with the disciples of Christ; but if any is afflicted, let him pray; that will silence cares and fears. They had now a great work to do, and before they entered upon it, they were earnest in prayer to God for his presence. They were waiting for the descent of the Spirit, and abounded in prayer. Those are in the best frame to receive spiritual blessings, who are in a praying frame. Christ had promised shortly to send the Holy Ghost; that promise was not to do away prayer, but to quicken and encourage it. A little company united in love, exemplary in their conduct, fervent in prayer, and wisely zealous to promote the cause of Christ, are likely to increase rapidly.”    {Matthew Henry Concise Bible Commentary.}

Peter at Pentecost

Acts 2 tells of the day of Pentecost or when “they were filled with the holy ghost.”  {Acts 2:4}

Peter is the only person listed by name in this chapter.

Acts 2:14 tells us “ But Peter, standing up with the eleven, lifted up his voice, and said unto them…”   Peter then goes on to deliver a sermon on the power of Jesus and the foretold prophecies of his coming.

“Peter’s sermon shows that he was thoroughly recovered from his fall, and thoroughly restored to the Divine favour; for he who had

Peter began preaching

denied Christ, now boldly confessed him. His account of the miraculous pouring forth of the Spirit, was designed to awaken the hearers to embrace the faith of Christ, and to join themselves to his church. It was the fulfilling the Scripture, and the fruit of Christ’s resurrection and ascension, and proof of both. Though Peter was filled with the Holy Ghost, and spake with tongues as the Spirit gave him utterance, yet he did not think to set aside the Scriptures.”  {Matthew Henry Concise Bible Commentary.}

Peter began healing right there in the temple

Acts 2:37-38 says, “Now when they heard this, they were pricked in their heart, and said unto Peter and to the rest of the apostles, Men and brethren, what shall we do? Then Peter said unto them, Repent, and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins, and ye shall receive the gift of the Holy Ghost.”

“And fear came upon every soul: and many wonders and signs were done by the apostles.”  {Acts 2:43}

“From this gift of the Holy Ghost, Peter preaches unto them Jesus: and here is the history of Christ. Here is an account of his death and sufferings, which they witnessed but a few weeks before.”  {Matthew Henry Concise Bible Commentary.}

Peter and John were arrested for sharing the gospel

But with the arrival of Pentecost, Peter’s ministry is just beginning.  He is on fire to tell of what Jesus has done.

Acts 3 tells of the first time Peter performs a miracle.  He and John are “together in the temple at the hour of prayer”  {Acts 3:1}.  We are told of a “certain lame man” who “fastened eyes with him and John” and Peter said, “In the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth rise up and walk” and “lifted him up”.  When the people who witness this miracle approach, Peter provides another impromptu sermon.

Notice, that Peter says in the name of “Jesus Christ” to rise and walk.

Peter confronted Sapphira

“Peter and John seem to have been led by a Divine direction, to work a miracle on a man above forty years old, who had been a cripple from his birth. Peter, in the name of Jesus of Nazareth, bade him rise up and walk.”  {Matthew Henry Concise Bible Commentary.}

In Acts 4, we are told that Peter and John are imprisoned for boldly testifying of Christ.  Even in prison, they refuse to be silenced.

Later in Acts, in the story of Ananias and Sapphira, they sell their land they promise to tithe all of their earnings but instead keep a portion back.  Peter is the one that confronts them.  Both Ananias and Sapphira drop dead where they stand.  {Acts 5:1-11}

“The sin is here pointed out. The lie was not to men, but to God. The apostles were moved

Peter healed Aeneas

by the Holy Spirit. These verses show clearly that the sin was hypocrisy and deception in the name of religion. These verses also show that the gifts of goods were purely voluntary.”  {Johnson’s Notes on the New Testament.}

Acts 5 goes on to tell how “ And by the hands of the apostles were many signs and wonders wrought among the people.”  {Acts 5:12} and the Sadducees “And laid their hands on the apostles, and put them in the common prison.”  {Acts 5:18}, “But the angel of the Lord by night opened the prison doors, and brought them forth, and said, Go, stand and speak in the temple to the people all the words of this life.”  {Acts 5:19-20}

Peter healed Tabitha

“All was as usual and the guards before the doors, but the prisoners gone.”  {Johnson’s Notes on the New Testament.}

Peter performs additional miracles when he heals Aeneas {Acts 9:32-35} and raises Tabitha from the dead {Acts 9:36-43}, both in the name of Jesus Christ.

Acts 10 tells of when Peter experienced a vision from the Lord.  “ And there came a voice to him, Rise, Peter; kill, and eat.  But Peter said, Not so, Lord; for I have never eaten any thing that is common or unclean. And the voice spake unto him again the second time, What God hath cleansed, that call not thou common.”  {Acts 10:13-15}  “Now while Peter doubted in himself what this vision which he had seen should mean…While Peter thought on the vision, the Spirit said unto him, Behold, three men seek thee.”  {Acts 10:17,19}

“The prejudices of Peter against the Gentiles would have prevented his going to Cornelius

Peter received visions

unless the Lord had prepared him for this service. To tell a Jew that God had directed those animals to be reckoned clean which were hitherto deemed unclean, was in effect saying, that the law of Moses was done away. Peter was soon made to know the meaning of it. God knows what services are before us, and how to prepare us; and we know the meaning of what he has taught us, when we find what occasion we have to make use of it.”  {Matthew Henry Concise Bible Commentary.}

“And as Peter was coming in, Cornelius met him, and fell down at his feet, and worshipped him. But Peter took him up, saying, Stand up; I myself also am a man.”  {Acts 10:25-26}

Notice that Peter knows it is not about him, but about God.  He refuses to be worshipped, stating he is only a man.  He knows his abilities are thanks to God.

Peter met Cornelius

Peter met with Cornelius and others and “While Peter yet spake these words, the Holy Ghost fell on all them which heard the word.”  {Acts 10:44}

So, as we have seen in the last few passages, after the transfiguration, Peter became a leader among the disciples.  He continued to preach the message of Jesus Christ, even when it meant prison.  But, God provided for him, protected him and prepared him for what was to come.

Peter was focused on worshipping and serving God and not having others worship him.

Who are you focused on worshipping and serving?

 

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