Conversations is starting a series on the life of Peter after Jesus’ death and over the next few months we’ll be exploring that.
Peter’s story begins on his home turf. Jesus arrives in a fishing village, he teaches, he meets some of the fishermen. They recognise him as the real deal. They follow.
This group of men includes the sons of Zebedee: James and John as well as another sibling pair – Andrew and Simon. At some point Simon’s becomes known as Peter. This change gains significance in Matthew 16 when Jesus asks his disciples ‘who do people say the Son of Man is?’. Peter gives the Sunday School gold star response: ‘You are the Christ, the Son of the living God’ and Jesus is delighted with Peter and says ‘On this rock I will build my church, and the gates of Hell will not prevail against it’. Simon’s name having become Peter is significant because Cephas/Petros means rock so Jesus is saying – ‘On this Peter I will build my church…’
So Peter is held in high regard by Jesus – he is also always mentioned first in the lists of the Twelve Apostles; he is present at more exclusive events such as the Transfiguration of Jesus; and he joins Jesus in walking on the water. John’s gospel gives Peter prominence – at the last supper he’s reluctant for Jesus to wash his feet and later names Peter as the disciple who cut off an ear when Jesus was arrested.
But the lowest point of Peter’s life (before Jesus’ death) is the denial. All four gospels detail how Peter was to deny Jesus three times before the cock crows. Continue reading John 21:15 – 25: Reinstating Peter