1 Peter - The Making of Peter

1 Peter - The Making of Peter


Before looking at any of the epistles of Peter it is helpful to look at the man.  Everything he experienced in the Gospels and the Acts comes shining through in his writings.  So we’ll spend some time here reviewing his life and picking up lessons from the experiences of one of the greatest Apostles.  All his triumphs and foibles are before us.  Imagine having the highs and lows of your life perserved for future generations, millions, if not billions of people.

Peter in the Gospels

  1. Meets Jesus (John 1:35-42)
  2. His Calling (Luke 5:1-11 cp. Mat 4:18-22; Mk 1:16-20)
  3. Walks on the Sea (Mat 14:25-33; Mk 6:45-56; Jn 6:15-21)
  4. Confession (1st in Jn 6:68-69; Mat 16:13-19 cp. Mk 8:27-29, Lk 9:18-20)
  5. Rebukes Jesus (Mat 16:21-23; Mk 8:32-33)
  6. Mount of Transfiguration (Mat 17; Mk 9; Lk 9)
  7. Tribute (Mat 17:24-27)
  8. The Last Supper (John 13)
  9. Denial Predicted (Mt 26:30-35; Mk 14:26-31; Lk 22:31-34; Jn 13:33-36) 
  10. Gethsemane (Mat 26:37; Mk 14:32; Jn 18:10)
  11. Denial Fulfilled (Lk 22:55-57; Mat 26:58,69,70; Mk 14:66-68; Jn 18:15-17)               
  12. Restoration (John 21)

Peter after the Gospels

  1. Pentecost (Acts 2)
  2. First Miracle and First  Sufferings (Acts 3:1-4:23)
  3. Annanias and Sapphira (Acts 5:1-11)
  4. More Sufferings (Acts 5:12-42)
  5. In Samaria (Acts 8:14-24)
  6. Healings (Acts 9:32-43)
  7. Cornelius (Acts 10)
  8. Miraculous deliverance (Acts 12)
  9. Rebuked by Paul (Gal 2:6-?)
  10. The Jerusalem Conference (Act 15:1-21)
  11. First Epistle
  12. Second Epistle

H.P. Mansfield in “Guide Book to the Gospels” says,

"He made a threefold confession of Christ, each one more vehement than the last (Mat 14:33, John 6:69; Mat 16:16); a threefold denial of his Lord (Mat 26:69-75); and a threefold protestation of love (John 21:15-17).     

His life reveals him as naturally impulsive (Mat 14:28; 17:4; John 21:7), tender hearted and affectionate (Mat 26:75; John 13:9; 21:15-17), possessing spiritual insight (John 6:68), yet sometimes slow to grasp deeper truths (Mat 15:15, 16); courageous, yet guilty of cowardly denials (Mark 14:67:71); self-sacrificing, yet inclined towards self-seeking (Mat 19:27) and presumptuous (Mat 16:22; John 13:8; 18:10), very often immovable in his convictions (Acts 4:19-20; 5:28, 29, 40, 42)."  (pg. 44)

I can’t help feeling drawn to Peter.  In many respects, he seems so different from my personality.  I imagine him as sometimes loud and bousterous.  Quick with an opinion.  Maybe abrasive at times yet having something that naturally drew people to him.  An energy that could be felt.  Someone that you wanted to latch onto because they made you a better person.  So while I see myself as having a more reserved and quiet demenor then Peter’s, I think I would have been drawn to Peter as a good friend.  I can just imagine being part of this dedicated following of Jesus, and bonding with these twelve men, especially Peter.  And there’s no doubt in my mind that Jesus himself cherished and desired the companionship of Simon Peter.

Given a Name (John 1:35-42)

The first time that Peter met Jesus is recorded for us in John 1:42.  Andrew, Peter’s brother, had already put it into his ear that he was about to meet the Messiah.  Expectations were high.  As they enter the room Jesus looks steadfastly on Peter, catches his eye, and says, “Thou art Simon the son of Jona: thou shalt be called Cephas.”  That’s all that is recorded of their first meeting but imagine the impression it must have made on Peter.  With no seeming introduction he instantly changes his name from Simon (meaning “hearing”) to Cephas (meaning “a stone”) which is the same name in Aramaic for the Greek name Peter.  This was no rash act by our Lord but one pregnant with meaning[1].  His full name was now to be Simon Peter meaning a “hearing stone”.  There is only one other place in scripture that I could find a reference to a “hearing stone” and it was by another Jesus, that is Joshua.  They are, I believe, connected and show the reason why Jesus surnamed him Peter.  The account is in Joshua 24:27 where we have the last words of Joshua to the children of Israel.  The Israelites at this time solidly affirm that they will “serve the LORD” (repeated 3x, v.18, 21, 24) so Joshua sets up this stone outside the sanctuary to stand as a reminder of their devotion.

“And Joshua said unto all the people, Behold, this stone ('eben:H68) shall be a witness unto us; for it hath heard (shama':H8085) all the words of the LORD which he spake unto us: it shall be therefore a witness unto you, lest ye deny your God.”

This stone was listening and had heard all the words so that it could be a witness.  Peter then was Jesus’ hearing stone as one who was constantly at his side assimilating all his words so that at his departure Peter was to be the main witness.  This title of witness is stressed in the Acts of the Apostles (1:8, 22; 2:32; 3:15; 4:33; 5:32; 10:39-43; 13:31, 22:15 (Paul)) and Peter uses it of himself in 1 Peter 5:1 when he says he was “a witness of the sufferings of Christ”. 

The stone that Joshua reared up was a stop gap so that they might not deny their God yet here we find in Peter one who had denied his Lord three times (in contrast to the Israelites affirmations).  The usage of both names in the Gospels and the Acts bear out this transition from one “hearing” to one being “a rock” for Christ. 

Bearing this in mind, it is often fascinating to study his name and ponder the places he is address as Simon, or Peter or together as Simon Peter.  For instance, at the last supper Jesus had said to him,

(Luke 22:31-32)  ". . . Simon, Simon, (notice his emphasis on the name Simon) behold, Satan hath desired to have you (plural), that he may sift you as wheat: {32} But I have prayed for thee (singular), that thy faith fail not: and when thou art converted, strengthen thy brethren.  {33}And he said unto him, Lord, I am ready to go with thee, both into prison, and to death. {34} And he said, I tell thee, Peter, the cock shall not crow this day, before that thou shalt thrice deny that thou knowest me."

As so often before, Peter is quick to correct his Lord, “I am ready to go with thee both into prison, and to death.”  Jesus replies, “I tell thee, Peter (notice the name change), the cock shall not crow this day, before that thou shalt thrice deny that thou knowest me.”

“When thou art converted, strengthen thy brethren.”  At the time these words must have perplexed Peter.  But that’s the whole point.  It is this conversion process that Peter is struggling with throughout the Gospels and even during moments in the Acts.  Honestly though, it’s the same one we struggle with from day to day, whether we are baptised or not.

Fishers of Men (Luke 5:1-11)

Peter’s character come’s in the very first incident we have of him speaking.  It is in Luke 5:1-11,

"And it came to pass, that, as the people pressed upon him to hear the word of God, he stood by the lake of Gennesaret, {2} And saw two ships standing by the lake: but the fishermen were gone out of them, and were washing their nets. {3} And he entered into one of the ships, which was Simon's, and prayed him that he would thrust out a little from the land. And he sat down, and taught the people out of the ship. {4} Now when he had left speaking, he said unto Simon, Launch out into the deep, and let down your nets for a draught. {5} And Simon answering said unto him, Master, we have toiled all the night, and have taken nothing: nevertheless at thy word I will let down the net."

You can almost get a sense of exasparation on Simon’s reply.  It had been a frustrating night for him, toiling for hours with nothing to show for it.  He had spent his life on the waters of Galilee.  He knew every depth, every current, every fishing spot.  It was his profession after all.

Now comes this carpenter from Nazareth telling him how to fish.  Sure he was a great teacher in religious matters but who was Jesus to tell him about his trade?  But Jesus is about to teach him that he is Lord of all.  How often, in just this way, do we deem ourselves more competent to judge a situation.  We don’t take it to the Lord in prayer, we can handle it ourselves.  How often do we compartmentalise our life, such as our job or school or even family, into areas we think does not concern the Lord?  The Lord can show us miracles in the simple things of life.

So what happens to Peter (Luke 5:6-7)?

 "And when they had this done, they enclosed a great multitude of fishes: and their net brake. {7} And they beckoned unto their partners, which were in the other ship, that they should come and help them. And they came, and filled both the ships, so that they began to sink.”

Immediately the nets fill with fish, the boat rocking over with the weight, the water thrashing with life, the net busting (strings snapping) as fish slither out of it.  Peter’s mind must have been racing as every muscle strains to pull up the net.  They can’t do it.[2]  So there is yelling and commotion, a call for help from their partners in another boat who come over and finally pull up this great catch of fish.  Among the piles of squirming, thrashing fish Simon Peter kneels down.  Notice the name change in Luke 5:8-9,

"When Simon Peter saw it, he fell down at Jesus' knees, saying, Depart from me; for I am a sinful man, O Lord. {9} For he was astonished, and all that were with him, at the draught of the fishes which they had taken:"

Such a typical response from Peter, from one extreme to the other.  Who can blame him.  And so we have the beginnings of the making of Simon Peter.

(Luke 5:10-11 KJV)  "… And Jesus said unto Simon (back to just Simon), Fear not; from henceforth thou shalt catch men. {11} And when they had brought their ships to land, they forsook all, and followed him."

Walking on Water (Matt. 14:22-33)

From this moment on I would dare to say there was no one more dedicated to Jesus than Peter.  When the twelve apostles are chosen he is first in the list.  We can ascertain that he becomes one of the leaders of the twelve.

It must have been because of his faith and dedication.  For in the next major event involving Peter we see him in a boat again, or should I say, out of a boat and on the water.  Even though the miracle of Jesus walking on water is recorded in all four Gospels it is only Matthew (14:22-33) that tells us about Peter’s (little) faith to come to him on the water.

"And straightway Jesus constrained his disciples to get into a ship, and to go before him unto the other side, while he sent the multitudes away. {23} And when he had sent the multitudes away, he went up into a mountain apart to pray: and when the evening was come, he was there alone. {24} But the ship was now in the midst of the sea, tossed with waves: for the wind was contrary. {25} And in the fourth watch of the night Jesus went unto them, walking on the sea. {26} And when the disciples saw him walking on the sea, they were troubled, saying, It is a spirit; and they cried out for fear. {27} But straightway Jesus spake unto them, saying, Be of good cheer; it is I; be not afraid."

It had been a very long night.  The fourth watch is somewhere between 3 to 6 AM.  They had been toiling for hours, rowing, beaten by the wind and waves.  You can understand their fright at somebody walking on the water, trying to make out the figure through the storm.  It would be so easy to fall into the hysteria of the group but not Peter.  Peter was never one to be influenced in that way by a group.  He stands out.

(Mat 14:28-31)  "And Peter answered him and said, Lord, if it be thou, bid me come unto thee on the water. {29} And he said, Come. And when Peter was come down out of the ship, he walked on the water, to go to Jesus. {30} But when he saw the wind boisterous, he was afraid; and beginning to sink, he cried, saying, Lord, save me. {31} And immediately Jesus stretched forth his hand, and caught him, and said unto him, O thou of little faith, wherefore didst thou doubt?"

This incident, in a small way, is a protrayel of the making of Peter.  He so often shows great promise and resolve but then comes up short.  But that’s us too.  That’s mankind.  I admire Peter so much, because I rather see myself as one of those still in the boat, afraid to go to Jesus.  Maybe even saying to Peter, “What?  Are you crazy?  That’s suicide.”  But Peter shows us the lead.  Even in the loss of faith due to the boisterous wind, he cries out, “Lord, save me!”  Even in that he shows us the only one we can turn to when we begin to sink.

Confession (Matt. 16:13-19)

Peter’s determination would come through not only in the natural storms but also in the stormy consensus of opinion that would turn against Jesus.  Later that same day, Peter would in a way step out of the boat again.  In John 6, Jesus had some very hard words to say and many left him because of it, and in this storm of doubt Peter once again stands tall as we read in John 6:66-69,

"From that time many of his disciples went back, and walked no more with him. {67} Then said Jesus unto the twelve, Will ye also go away? {68} Then Simon Peter answered him, Lord, to whom shall we go? thou hast the words of eternal life. {69} And we believe and are sure that thou art that Christ, the Son of the living God."

They all had confessed this when Jesus had gotten back into the boat and the wind had ceased (Matt. 14:33).  Now, against all appearances and peer pressure, Peter says it again.  What a boost that would have been for Jesus to look into Peter’s eyes and see such faith. 

The third time Peter stands out by saying this is in Matt. 16:13-19,

"When Jesus came into the coasts of Caesarea Philippi, he asked his disciples, saying, Whom do men say that I the Son of man am? {14} And they said, Some say that thou art John the Baptist: some, Elias; and others, Jeremias, or one of the prophets. {15} He saith unto them, But whom say ye that I am? {16}”

Was there a pause at this time or was it more the characteristic Peter coming right out and saying it?

“And Simon Peter answered and said, Thou art the Christ, the Son of the living God. {17} And Jesus answered and said unto him, Blessed art thou, Simon Barjona: for flesh and blood hath not revealed it unto thee, but my Father which is in heaven. {18} 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. {19} And I will give unto thee the keys of the kingdom of heaven: and whatsoever thou shalt bind on earth shall be bound in heaven: and whatsoever thou shalt loose on earth shall be loosed in heaven."

Notice again the name change form Simon (v. 17) to Peter (v. 18).  Could there be any more higher words of accomodation?  Jesus had chosen Peter for his shear potential.  He knew what this man would become.  He knew at the core of Peter was a rock.  It need to honing but in the end this would be the man to lead his infant ecclesia and start it growing into the temple of believers it is today.

What was Peter thinking after this?  It is hard to tell but Alred Norris puts it wonderfully by saying, “Peter has reached his pinnacle.  But pinnacles are precarious places on which to perch, and another of Peter's falls from grace, more grievous than the sinking on Galilee, is painfully near." (Alred Norris, “Peter: Fisher of Men”, pg. 33,34)

Rebuke (Matt. 16:21-23)

It is so near that it is recorded in the next verse of Matthew’s record.

(Matt. 16:21-23)  "From that time forth began Jesus to show unto his disciples, how that he must go unto Jerusalem, and suffer many things of the elders and chief priests and scribes, and be killed, and be raised again the third day. {22} Then Peter took him, and began to rebuke him, saying, Be it far from thee, Lord: this shall not be unto thee. {23} But he turned, and said unto Peter, Get thee behind me, Satan: thou art an offence unto me: for thou savourest not the things that be of God, but those that be of men."

Notice how it says “Peter took him, and began to rebuke him.”  He was intending to say much more yet was cut off abruptly.  He was back again into the mindset thinking that he could tell Jesus a thing or two.  This is a pattern that Peter follows.  He is continually crushed, humilated, made to think again.  All the great men of scripture like Moses and David went through similar experiences.  It’s how they handled it that made them great because they didn’t make themselves, God made them.

(Psa 51:17 KJV)  "The sacrifices of God are a broken spirit: a broken and a contrite heart, O God, thou wilt not despise."

So the lesson of self sacrifice and following Jesus would come home even more poignantly.  Why is it that when we are low we learn about God’s grace so much more?

The sharp rebuke by Jesus would not only crush Peter, but it would seem to cancel out the blessing he had just received.



Blessed art thou

Get thee behind me

Thou art Peter


On this rock I will

Thou art a stumblingblock

build my church

unto me (Jesus)

Not flesh and blood

Not the things of God

But my Father

But the things of men

Revealed this to you

Are you thinking about

                                                                        Alfred Norris, “Peter: Fisher of Men”, pg. 37

Peter would learn his lesson and later use this analogy in his own epistle 1 Peter 2:7-8,

"Unto you therefore which believe he is precious: but unto them which be disobedient, the stone which the builders disallowed, the same is made the head of the corner, {8} And a stone of stumbling, and a rock of offence, even to them which stumble at the word, being disobedient: whereunto also they were appointed."

So we can be either a rock to build upon or a stumbling stone.  Peter shows us how quickly we can be either one.

Washing Feet (John 13:3-10)

The lesson is a hard one to learn.  Even with good intentions we can be wrong.  We find Peter falling into the same ways again in John 13:3-10.

"Jesus knowing that the Father had given all things into his hands, and that he was come from God, and went to God; {4} He riseth from supper, and laid aside his garments; and took a towel, and girded himself. {5} After that he poureth water into a basin, and began to wash the disciples' feet, and to wipe them with the towel wherewith he was girded.”

So as Jesus kneels down and carefully washes the grime of his dicsiples feet we can imagine the look on the disciples faces.  As they look around with surprised and questioning faces one can almost see a flush of anger growing in Peter.

“{6} Then cometh he to Simon Peter: and Peter saith unto him, Lord, dost thou wash my feet? {7} Jesus answered and said unto him, What I do thou knowest not now; but thou shalt know hereafter. {8} Peter saith unto him, Thou shalt never wash my feet. Jesus answered him, If I wash thee not, thou hast no part with me."

As if on que, Peter swings to the other extreme.

“{9} Simon Peter saith unto him, Lord, not my feet only, but also my hands and my head. {10} Jesus saith to him, He that is washed needeth not save to wash his feet, but is clean every whit: and ye are clean, but not all."

So there was more humility and another lesson on not only discipleship but on leadership.  It is these lessons that were making Peter into the leader necessary for the future work of the Lord.  It is a slow and patient process and we are thankful he is that way with each of us.

Denial (Luke 22:60-62)

Jesus knew Peter; knew him well.  For all the times he rebuked Peter and brought him low, Jesus knew there was one more to come.  The needful, final and most crushing blow to his good and loyal friend.  When Jesus, right before his arrest and crucifixion, said that “all would be offended” it was the classic Peter who spoke up to correct his Lord.

(Mat 26:33-35 KJV)  "Peter answered and said unto him, Though all men shall be offended because of thee, yet will I never be offended. {34} Jesus said unto him, Verily I say unto thee, That this night, before the cock crow, thou shalt deny me thrice. {35} Peter said unto him, Though I should die with thee, yet will I not deny thee. Likewise also said all the disciples."

Peter’s bold confidence is wrong in three ways.  He contradicted his Master, he set himself up as better then the rest, and he spoke out of a confident reliance on his own strength.  Why is it that we often consider that we are strong yet then we fall.  It seems that the greatest lessons in life come from our weaknesses and God telling us that it is not by our might but by his grace we succeed.  Is there any other greater lesson in life?

Alfred Norris says,

"But let us again keep Peter in proper balance.  He was probably not much more impulsive than anyone else.  He was very much more loyal and constructive in his outlook on Jesus than most of the others.  He could rally the flagging assurance of his friends, and, with the exception of John at the Cross itself, stayed closer to the Lord, and at the most perilous time, than anyone else.  If it is true that he alone denied his Lord three times, it is also true that he alone was in the position where it could be possible.  The others were not there to be cross-questioned." (Alfred Norris, “Peter: Fisher of Men”, pg. 96)

Peter knew what the Lord had predicted about him.  He had every impetous to make sure that it didn’t happen.  Did he forget?  Did he, after the first time, chastise himself that it wouldn’t happen again?  And yet he failed three times.  We have the same thing.  God has told us about human nature, he has showed us a more perfect way, we have the blessed hope of things to come yet we still fall short.

(Luke 22:60-62 KJV)  "And Peter said, Man, I know not what thou sayest. And immediately, while he yet spake, the cock crew. {61} And the Lord turned, and looked upon Peter. And Peter remembered the word of the Lord, how he had said unto him, Before the cock crow, thou shalt deny me thrice. {62} And Peter went out, and wept bitterly."

How did the Lord look on Peter?  Certainly there was a tinge of sadness in those eyes that dug into Peter’s heart.  There was sorrow that his prayers for Peter had not yet come true.  He knew they would be answered though and so there was also forgiveness in those eyes.  It would be a look that would bring any man to tears.

Restoration (John 21)

The pain of not only losing his Master but of denying him in his greatest hour of need must have stung Peter for a long long time.  So much so, that he would question his own loyalty, his own place in life.  He would go back to a life of going through the motions, back home, fishing.

But a man cannot go too far from who he is and in John 21 when the Lord Jesus makes himself known on the shoreline Peter literally throws himself back into the sea.  Harking back to when he walked on the water.  But we see a different Peter.  No longer so confident.  No longer so willing to correct the Master.

(John 21:15-17)  "So when they had dined, Jesus saith to Simon Peter, Simon, son of Jonas, lovest thou me more than these? He saith unto him, Yea, Lord; thou knowest that I love thee. He saith unto him, Feed my lambs. {16} He saith to him again the second time, Simon, son of Jonas, lovest thou me? He saith unto him, Yea, Lord; thou knowest that I love thee. He saith unto him, Feed my sheep. {17} He saith unto him the third time, Simon, son of Jonas, lovest thou me? Peter was grieved because he said unto him the third time, Lovest thou me? And he said unto him, Lord, thou knowest all things; thou knowest that I love thee. Jesus saith unto him, Feed my sheep."

Formerly there had been three questions about his loyalty to Jesus and a threfold crescendo of denials.  Now there are three questions just as probing.  Peter, humbled, makes no attempt to profess a loyalty over what he can be sure.  How can he be sure anymore?  Even though Peter doesn’t feel like it, Jesus knows that he is in the perfect frame of mind to feed his sheep, to be a guiding leader, to be that witness of Jesus.

Significantly, Peter gets another personal prophecy from the Lord.

(John 21:18-19)  "Verily, verily, I say unto thee, When thou wast young, thou girdedst thyself, and walkedst whither thou wouldest: but when thou shalt be old, thou shalt stretch forth thy hands, and another shall gird thee, and carry thee whither thou wouldest not. {19} This spake he, signifying by what death he should glorify God. And when he had spoken this, he saith unto him, Follow me."

This stuck with Peter for the rest of his life for he writes in 2 Peter 1:14,

"Knowing that shortly I must put off this my tabernacle, even as our Lord Jesus Christ hath showed me."

The Speeches and Miracles in the Acts

When we go from John 21 to the Acts of the Apostles we see Peter in this new frame of mind.  He has the poise and confidence to preach and do many mighty works through the power of the Holy Spirit.  Yet, he is a man who has been made by his past experiences.  While he bodly spoke of Christ before rulers and the great throngs, in the back of his mind would be the humiliation and pain he had gone through before.

Peter’s greatest test, I believe, was not the persecutions, trials and improsonments but the acceptance of the Gentiles.  It almost seems like his whole life though was leading to this moment.  He was the one given the keys to the kingdom of heaven and he was the one to use it.

The record of this in Acts 10 is interesting because it is the first time he is refered to as Simon in the Acts.

(Acts 10:5-6)  "And now send men to Joppa, and call for one Simon, whose surname is Peter: {6} He lodgeth with one Simon a tanner, whose house is by the sea side: he shall tell thee what thou oughtest to do."

When Peter is given the vision of all manner of beasts in a sheet coming down from heaven, we see the old Peter revealed again, that is, one that objected and corrected what the Lord said.

(Acts 10:13-16)  "And there came a voice to him, Rise, Peter; kill, and eat. {14} But Peter said, Not so, Lord; for I have never eaten any thing that is common or unclean. {15} And the voice spake unto him again the second time, What God hath cleansed, that call not thou common. {16} This was done thrice: and the vessel was received up again into heaven."

It is also significant that this happened three times.  But while the new Peter pondered these things it became obvious how the Spirit was showing him that God had granted the Gentiles repentance unto life.  The old Peter would not have gone under a Gentiles roof for it was unlawful (v. 28) but the new Peter “went without gainsaying” (v. 29).

Peter was just the man made for this job.  While those of the circumcision questioned it all, Peter knew that he could not “withstand God” (v. 17).  He had tried that to many times before and failed.

The Jerusalem Conference

This doesn’t mean that it was easy for Peter.  No matter what place we are in life there can always be relapses.  We see this happen to Peter in Galatians 2:11-13,

"But when Peter was come to Antioch, I withstood him to the face, because he was to be blamed. {12} For before that certain came from James, he did eat with the Gentiles: but when they were come, he withdrew and separated himself, fearing them which were of the circumcision. {13} And the other Jews dissembled likewise with him; insomuch that Barnabas also was carried away with their dissimulation."

Obviously Peter had lost his way.  He was, more then likely, trying to appease certain of the Jews.  Not wanting to cause controversy at this time and place.  But Paul, rightly, saw the more immenent danger to the Gentile believers faith and withstood Peter to his face. 

(Gal. 2:14-16)  "But when I saw that they walked not uprightly according to the truth of the gospel, I said unto Peter before them all, If thou, being a Jew, livest after the manner of Gentiles, and not as do the Jews, why compellest thou the Gentiles to live as do the Jews? {15} We who are Jews by nature, and not sinners of the Gentiles, {16} Knowing that a man is not justified by the works of the law, but by the faith of Jesus Christ, even we have believed in Jesus Christ, that we might be justified by the faith of Christ, and not by the works of the law: for by the works of the law shall no flesh be justified."

How did Peter take this rebuke?  Well, we don’t know for certain, but he had been in that position before.  We can only imagine that Peter humbly accepted his error.  This is more then likely the case when we see the very words of Paul here in Gal. 2:16 echoed by Peter at the Jerusalem conference in Acts 15:7-11,

(Acts 15:7-11)  "And when there had been much disputing, Peter rose up, and said unto them, Men and brethren, ye know how that a good while ago God made choice among us, that the Gentiles by my mouth should hear the word of the gospel, and believe. {8} And God, which knoweth the hearts, bare them witness, giving them the Holy Ghost, even as he did unto us; {9} And put no difference between us and them, purifying their hearts by faith. {10} Now therefore why tempt ye God, to put a yoke upon the neck of the disciples, which neither our fathers nor we were able to bear? {11} But we believe that through the grace of the Lord Jesus Christ we shall be saved, even as they."

Here are the last words of Peter in the Acts of the Apostles.  Thankfully though these are not his last words in the Bible and, Lord willing, we will take up his epistle and learn more from this great Apostle.


[1]No doubt it was much like the next incident with Nathanael in which Jesus says “I saw thee” before they had even met.

[2]Makes me wonder what Jesus was doing this whole time?  Was he helping?  Was he standing back watching it all?