Hall of Faith: Peter, the Leader

Throughout the gospels, the book of Acts and epistles we see the evolution of Simon Peter

Simon was a fisherman when Jesus called him and renamed him Peter

from fisherman to leader of the early church.

So, what can we learn about Peter?

“And Jesus, walking by the sea of Galilee, saw two brethren, Simon called Peter, and Andrew his brother, casting a net into the sea: for they were fishers.” {Matthew 5:18-19}

Peter was originally named Simon, and was a fisherman when Jesus called him as a disciple.

Peter witnessed Jesus perform a miracle in his own family very early in their relationship, although it seems likely that he had already seen miracles by this point.

Jesus healed Peter’s mother-in-law

“ And when Jesus came into Peter’s house, he saw his wife’s mother laid, and sick of a fever.  And he touched her hand, and the fever left her: and she arose, and ministered unto them.” {Matthew 8:14-15}

From this, we know that Peter was married and most likely had a family.

“ And he brought him to Jesus. And when Jesus beheld him, he said, Thou art Simon the son of Jonas: thou shalt be called Cephas, which is by interpretation, A stone.” {John 1:42}

Jesus renamed Simon and called him Peter, which means stone or rock. This is why we often see Peter referred to as Simon Peter.

Peter witnessed other miracles such as when:

Jesus performed miracles

  • Jesus has him bring in the multitude of fish {Luke 5:4-11}
  • He walked on water {as long as he kept his eyes on Jesus} {Matthew 14:28-31}
  • “But when he saw the wind boisterous, he was afraid; and beginning to sink, he cried, saying, Lord, save me.” {Matthew 14: 30}
  • “And immediately Jesus stretched forth his hand, and caught him, and said unto him, O thou of little faith, wherefore didst thou doubt?” {Matthew 14:31}

But, Peter could also be impulsive, such as when:

  • He insisted on washing Jesus feet {John 13:2-11}

    Peter cut off a soldier’s ear, but Jesus healed it

  • Cuts off the soldiers ear {Luke 22:49-51}
  • Denied Jesus three times {Matthew 26}

But, after falling, Peter was redeemed. He was the first to run to the tomb and to see that it was empty. He was also the first to enter the tomb. {John 20:1-9}

He saw Jesus after the resurrection, in which Jesus asked him “Lovest thou me”. He was testing Peter three times, to redeem and reinstate him after the three times Peter had denied him. {John 21:15-17}

After the transfiguration, Peter became a leader of the church.

Jesus asked Peter “Lovest Thou Me”

  • He gave an impromptu speech at Pentecost {Acts 2}
  • Peter suffered prison on numerous occasions {Acts 3-5}
  • Peter performed miracles in the name of Jesus {Acts 3}
  • An angel protected Peter as he was released from prison {Acts 12}

Historical sources state that Peter is considered the first pope by the Roman Catholic Church, he was a martyr for his faith {crucified upside down}, and the Vatican is built upon his burial sight.


The believers were amazed that Peter was knocking on their door

Peter lived history in the making. He was a disciple of Jesus and witness to miracles, the

crucifixion, resurrection, transfiguration, Pentecost, and a leader of the early church.



So, what can we learn from the life of Peter?




  1. Jesus transformed a simple fisherman into a first Century church leader
  2. Peter learned how to turn his weaknesses into strengths
  3. Peter was redeemed after denying Christ.  Jesus asked him three times “Lovest thou me”
  4. Peter could be impulsive, but that did not stop him from being faithful
  5. Peter often did not understand what was to come, but he was willing to go
  6. God built his church using Peter as his vessel
  7. Peter was willing to suffer and die for his faith
  8. Peter would not stop sharing the love of God
  9. Peter witnessed miracles first hand and was later able to perform miracles in the name of Jesus

d Peter he would build his church upon his rock. “And I say also unto thee, That thou art Peter, and upon this rock I will build my church; and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it.” {Matthew 16:18}

Peter brought many to Christ

The Lord clearly build his church upon the rock. Peter wasn’t perfect, but God was able to use him to accomplish amazing feats.

How has God used your weakness for his good?

St. Clement of Rome identifies Peter and Paul as the outstanding heroes of the faith.

Join me at Easter 2018, as we explore the life and ministry of Peter.


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