A Word From Our Pastor

The Apostle Peter

1st and 2nd Peter were written to the Jewish and Gentile believers that were scattered due to the persecution in Jerusalem. Some liberals have questioned whether a common fisherman could have penned this letter, especially since Peter and John were both called “unlearned and ignorant men” (Acts 4:13). However, this phrase only means ‘laymen without formal schooling’. In other words, they were not professional religious leaders.

Peter’s given name was Simon. Jesus changed it to Peter, which means ‘a stone’ (John 1:35-42). The Aramaic equivalent of ‘Peter’ is ‘Cephas’, so Peter was a man with three names. He is called ‘Simon’ nearly fifty times in the New Testament, and often he is called ‘Simon Peter’. Perhaps the two names suggest a Christian’s two natures: an old nature (Simon) that is prone to fail, and a new nature (Peter) that can be victorious.

If anybody in the early church knew the importance of being alert, it was the apostle Peter. He had a tendency in his early years to feel overconfident when danger was near. He often overlooked the Master’s warnings. He rushed ahead when he should have waited; he slept when he should have prayed; he talked when he should have listened. He was a courageous but careless Christian. Still, his letters grew out of a life lived to the glory of God. A number of events in Peter’s life are woven into the fabric of the epistles.