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Peter's Ministry

Much of the New Testament, forward from the book of Acts, is about the ministry of the apostle Paul (see Paul's Ministry) who became a Christian after Christ's crucifixion. Very little is recorded about the twelve apostles (the traitor Judas was replaced by Matthias) who accompanied Christ during His ministry. That is not to say however that the original twelve apostles were not as active and important as Paul. They most surely were, as evidenced at the beginning of Acts, before Paul entered the picture, when, as described below, Peter was very much an equal to Paul.

A Miraculous Healing

The incident began when Peter and John were on their way to the Temple for prayer.

Fishermen

"Now Peter and John went up together into the Temple at the hour of prayer, being the ninth hour [see Hours Of The Day]. And a certain man lame from his mother's womb was carried, whom they laid daily at the gate of the temple which is called Beautiful, to ask alms of them that entered into the temple; Who seeing Peter and John about to go into the Temple asked an alms. And Peter, fastening his eyes upon him with John, said, Look on us. And he gave heed unto them, expecting to receive something of them." (Acts 3:1-5 KJV)

Peter didn't have any money to give the man, but he gave him the means of something far more precious and valuable than money.

"Then Peter said, Silver and gold have I none; but such as I have give I thee: In the Name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth rise up and walk. And he took him by the right hand, and lifted him up: and immediately his feet and ankle bones received strength. And he leaping up stood, and walked, and entered with them into the Temple, walking, and leaping, and praising God. And all the people saw him walking and praising God: And they knew that it was he which sat for alms at the Beautiful gate of the temple: and they were filled with wonder and amazement at that which had happened unto him" (Acts 3:6-10 KJV)

When people witnessed the healing and stood in wonderment, Peter made very clear that it was not by his power that the healing took place.

"And as the lame man which was healed held Peter and John, all the people ran together unto them in the porch that is called Solomon's, greatly wondering. And when Peter saw it, he answered unto the people, Ye men of Israel, why marvel ye at this? Or why look ye so earnestly on us, as though by our own power or holiness we had made this man to walk?" (Acts 3:11-12 KJV)

The healing was by means of God.

"And His Name through faith in His Name hath made this man strong, whom ye see and know: yea, the faith which is by Him hath given him this perfect soundness in the presence of you all." (Acts 3:16 KJV)

The purpose of the miracle was not to exalt a servant of God, but rather to draw repentant people to God. Others did not believe, even after witnessing the miracle - which is no surprise since they were many of the same people who rejected Christ Himself and had Him killed.

"And as they spake unto the people, the priests, and the captain of the Temple, and the Sadducees, came upon them, Being grieved that they taught the people, and preached through Jesus the resurrection from the dead. And they laid hands on them, and put them in hold unto the next day: for it was now eventide. Howbeit many of them which heard the word believed; and the number of the men was about five thousand" (Acts 4:1-4 KJV)

Peter and John were arrested, but later released after a warning not to preach the Truth any more - a warning from evil men that Peter and John ignored.

"And they called them, and commanded them not to speak at all nor teach in the name of Jesus. But Peter and John answered and said unto them, Whether it be right in the sight of God to hearken unto you more than unto God, judge ye. For we cannot but speak the things which we have seen and heard. So when they had further threatened them, they let them go, finding nothing how they might punish them, because of the people: for all men glorified God for that which was done. For the man was above forty years old, on whom this miracle of healing was showed." (Acts 4:18-22 KJV)

Fact Finder: Peter was a true apostle, a true man of God, but Peter never claimed to be anything more than an apostle like the others. The fact that Paul's ministry overshadowed Peter's in the New Testament record, and the fact that Paul was given to write much of what became the New Testament itself is proof that Peter was an equal apostle, not the "chief apostle" or somehow in place of ("vicar" of) Christ. How do we know, from the Bible, who Peter was given the responsibility for, back then, and in the future?
See Did Peter Have The Primacy?


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