Peter and Paul
by Wayne Blank
The Bible has a number of examples of people who fit the sort of contrast described in the paragraph above. Among them were the apostles Peter and Paul, a "blue collar" and a "suit" when it came to religion.
Brothers In Christ, Men of The World
Peter was a "working man," a fisherman, a man who got up early in the morning and went to work at hard labor. He had calluses on his hands and came home at the end of the day smelling of fish and sweat. He did not have much formal education, and yet he was chosen by Jesus Christ to be one of the twelve apostles - a position that will involve very high office in the future Kingdom of God.
"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. And he saith unto them, Follow me, and I will make you fishers of men." (Matthew 4:18-19 KJV)
Paul (see Paul's Ministry) was a "thinker," a highly educated and intelligent man, a teacher of religion (and a tent maker when money was short) - who was also chosen by Jesus Christ to be an apostle.
"I am verily a man which am a Jew, born in Tarsus, a city in Cilicia, yet brought up in this city at the feet of Gamaliel, and taught according to the perfect manner of the law of the fathers, and was zealous toward God, as ye all are this day." (Acts 22:3 KJV)
But were the apostles Peter and Paul "pals"? They loved each other as Christians, they were solidly together as Christians, but they were not close friends (although they both did seem to mellow, when comparing their earlier writings with their later writings). That will come later, when all of the human "baggage" has been left behind. Until then, Peter and Paul, from what is written in the Holy Scriptures, had a relationship that was often strained and tense.
Consider what their recorded encounters (much more is written by Paul in the Scriptures than by Peter (also known as Cephas), again, likely due to Paul having been more formally educated - Peter may actually have been somewhat illiterate, depending upon others to write for him; in one of his Epistles he says "By Silvanus ... I have written briefly" 1 Peter 5:12), and what they had to say about each other (their later writings were more moderate):
"even as our beloved brother Paul also according to the wisdom given unto him hath written unto you; As also in all his epistles, speaking in them of these things; in which are some things hard to be understood" (2 Peter 3:15-16 KJV)
Their common perspective was that both Peter and Paul were taught by Jesus Christ, and both were inspired by the Holy Spirit of God. Both were later martyred - two very different men who didn't lose their lives for the Truth, but who found their lives in the Truth. And when they awaken at the resurrection at the time of Christ's return (see "To Meet The Lord In The Air") the differences that they had will be left behind.
Fact Finder: (a) Is Christianity "the body of Christ"? (b) Is Christianity like a body that depends equally upon all of its parts?