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"Therefore let all the house of Israel know assuredly that God has made this Jesus whom you crucified both Lord and Christ."
Acts 2:36


. . . learning from the men, women and children of Bible times
            Simon Peter,  an apostle of Jesus Christ     &      (the first gospel preacher)                        This is a true story!

more pages about Simon Peter:

       

The Books that Peter Wrote

  Simon Peter in the Gospels   Simon Peter, the first Gospel Preacher

  Peter in the Book of Acts

           Simon Peter was a man of action.  When he thought something needed to be said or done he did it.  When he was a disciple during Jesus’ ministry his words and actions were often the wrong ones: like at the Transfiguration when he spoke when he should have been listening, or his brash claim that he would die for Jesus before he would deny Him, and when he cut off the ear of Malchus while trying to “defend” Jesus from being arrested. 

            However, the Apostle Peter was a very different man. He was still a man of action but now his actions were the right ones because now, after the Resurrection, he understood who Jesus really was. The Peter we see in the book of Acts no longer thought of himself, his only purpose was to proclaim the Gospel to the world.  Peter’s first act was to compel the eleven disciples to name a replacement for the betrayer Judas Iscariot.  His next “act” was to preach the greatest sermon ever.  At Pentecost people from all over the world were gathered in Jerusalem to celebrate, and even though they all spoke different languages they could all understand what he was saying.  On that day 3,000 people became Christians!  And just imagine how many more would hear the Gospel when all of these people returned home and told their friends and family about what happened that day in Jerusalem!

           


Simon, a magician, offered money to Peter for the gift of the Holy Spirit.
          While still in Jerusalem a lame beggar asked Peter for money.  Peter told him he didn’t have money but he did have something to share and he grabbed the man by his right hand and brought him to his feet completely healed of his lameness.  This miracle of healing gave Peter another opportunity to preach the Gospel as a crowd gathered when they saw the lame man walking, jumping and praising God.  And as a result  2,000 more men believed.  The Jewish priests & Sadducees didn’t want Peter preaching about Jesus so they arrested Peter & John.  This time when Peter was confronted with danger he did not deny Jesus but instead “filled with the Holy Spirit” he told his captors “It is by the name of Jesus Christ…that this man stands before you healed.”  After this the Sanhedrin told Peter he could no longer teach in the name of Jesus, but Peter told them he was not going to obey men but God.  Peter’s courage inspired other Christians to go out and speak “the word of God boldly.”

            During this time the new Christians were selling all of their possessions and distributing the money to anyone who had need.  One Christian couple, Ananias and Sapphira sold part of their property and brought the money to Peter.  But instead of telling them the truth they told Peter that they had sold all of their land and was giving the money to the needy.  Ananias and Sapphira valued the praise of men more than the praise of God and because of this they lied to Peter.  But Peter told them they weren’t lying to him but to God and they both fell down dead.  When the people heard about this they became afraid. 

            Later when the Apostles heard that Philip was having success preaching the Gospel in Samaria, Peter and John went there to lay their hands on the new Christians in order to give them the gift of the Holy Spirit.  A magician named Simon was also there and was baptized because he saw the Apostles doing miracles he couldn’t do.  He then offered Peter money for the gift of the Holy Spirit.  Peter told Simon the magician that his heart was not right because he thought he could buy the “gift of God.” After this Peter traveled to Lydda and met a man named Aeneas who was paralyzed and had been lying in bed for 8 years.  Peter told him “Aeneas, Jesus Christ heals you.” And immediately Aeneas got up. Because of this miracle the Bible says that everyone in Lydda turned to the Lord.  While he was in Lydda Peter heard that a woman in Joppa named Tabitha, who had been making clothes for the poor, had gotten sick and died.  Peter went to Joppa and found that Tabitha was already being prepared for burial.  He made everyone leave the room and he got down on his knees and prayed.  After praying he turned to the dead woman and said “Tabitha, get up.” Immediately she opened her eyes and came downstairs with him.  This miracle became known all over Joppa and many more people believed in the Lord.

            In Caesarea there lived a gentile named Cornelius, a Roman centurion who was a devout God-fearing man.  One day while he was praying he was visited by an angel who told him to send his men to find Peter and bring him to Caesarea.  The next day Peter was on the roof praying before lunch and he had a vision of a sheet coming out of heaven.  The sheet was full of animals, reptiles and birds. Then the voice of Jesus told Peter to kill and eat but because Peter was an Israelite he would not eat any animal considered to be unclean. Then Jesus told him “Do not call unclean anything that God has made clean.”  This happened three times just like the 3 times Jesus asked Peter if he loved him and just like the 3 times Peter denied knowing Jesus.

            Soon after Cornelius’ men arrived and Peter went with them back to Caesarea.  When he arrived at the house of Cornelius and found out he had been visited by an angel he realized what his vision on the rooftop meant.  He now knew that God did not show favoritism but wanted all men to be saved, both Jews and Gentiles.  So Peter began telling Cornelius and everyone in his house about Jesus and while he was speaking the gift of the Holy Spirit was poured out on everyone including the Gentiles.  Peter returned to Jerusalem and told the Christians there what had happened and they all praised God.

            Sometime later King Herod (the grandson of Herod the Great and nephew of Herod Antipas who had Jon the Baptist beheaded) began persecuting Christians. He caught James, the brother of John, and had him beheaded.  When he saw that this pleased the Jews he had Peter arrested and thrown in prison.  The night before his trial, Peter was asleep bound with chains between two guards and suddenly an angel appeared.  The angel woke Peter, removed his chains and told Peter to get up.  Peter got up and followed the angel out of the prison.  Peter knew Herod would be looking for him so he told the other Christians what had happened and “he left for another place.” Sometime later while Herod was on his throne he was struck down by an angel and eaten by worms.  This story about Herod’s death is also found in the writings of the historian Josephus who said Herod was “seized with violent pains, was carried out and died…”(Josephus, Antiquities, 19.8.2).

            Later Peter briefly returned to Jerusalem with Paul to convince the Jewish Christians there that Gentiles did not have to be circumcised to be saved.  After this not much is known about Peter’s life.  Early Christian writers tell us that Peter eventually ended up in Rome where he probably wrote his letters 1 & 2 Peter.  He and his wife were captured by Nero and killed.  Tradition states that when Nero was to have him crucified he asked to be hung upside down because he was not worthy to die in the same way as his Lord Jesus Christ.  

          'Simon Peter in the Book of Acts' Quiz
pick the right answer for the questions about Simon Peter in the Gospels
10 points for every right answer - wrong answers will be shown to you


1. What was Peter's first 'act' as an Apostle in the book of Acts? (Acts 1:15-26)

Preaching the Sermon on Pentecost
Compel the other Apostles to find a replacement for Judas
Healing a lame beggar
   

 

2. How many were saved when Peter preached to the crowds who saw him heal the lame beggar?  (Acts 4:4)

1000
3000
5000
   
 

3. What miracle by Peter caused everyone in the town of Lydda to turn to the Lord? (Acts 9:32-35)

The healing of Aeneas
Raising Dorcas from the dead
Peter's escape from prison
   
 

4.  Who was struck down and eaten by worms after having Peter arrested and killing James?  (Acts 12:23)

Gamaliel
Herod
Sapphira
   

 

5. What historian also tells of Herod's mysterious death?

Cornelius
Joseph
Josephus
   
 

6. During Peter's rooftop vision how many times was the sheet lowered in front of Peter?  (Acts 10:16)

5 times
Once
3 times
   
 

7.  What happened when everyone heard about what happened to Ananias & Sapphira?  (Acts 5:11)

everyone cheered
everyone was afraid
everyone was angry
   

 

8. What did Peter tell the Sanhedrin when they told him not to preach in the name of Jesus?  (Acts 5:29)
 

"We must do as you say"
"We must obey God rather than men"
"We must do what we think is right"
   
 

9. Why was the Peter in Acts so different from the Peter in the Gospels?

Because he could now perform miracles
Because he no longer had to fish for a living
Because now he truly understood who Jesus really was
   
 

 

  Score -  

 

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