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Beginning our Study with the Great Fisherman - Peter, Midweek April 3, 2024




Peter’s name was Simon when he became one of Jesus’ first followers and part of the inner circle of the twelve disciples. When he made his confession that Jesus was the Messiah (Matt. 16:18-19) Jesus changed his name to Kephas—an Aramaic word meaning “rock,” which would later be translated into Greek as Petros, or Peter. Jesus promised that he would become a leader among the apostles to guide the messianic community in Jerusalem through its earliest years. If we look back at Acts 1-10


Acts 1-10

Introduction

1The first account I composed, Theophilus, about all that Jesus began to do and teach, 2until the day when He was taken up to heaven, after He had by the Holy Spirit given orders to the apostles whom He had chosen. 3To these He also presented Himself alive after His suffering, by many convincing proofs, appearing to them over a period of forty days and speaking of the things concerning the kingdom of God. 4Gathering them together, He commanded them not to leave Jerusalem, but to wait for what the Father had promised, “Which,” He said, “you heard of from Me; 5for John baptized with water, but you will be baptized with the Holy Spirit not many days from now.”

6So when they had come together, they were asking Him, saying, “Lord, is it at this time You are restoring the kingdom to Israel?” 7He said to them, “It is not for you to know times or epochs which the Father has fixed by His own authority; 8but you will receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you; and you shall be My witnesses both in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and even to the remotest part of the earth.”


The Ascension

9And after He had said these things, He was lifted up while they were looking on, and a cloud received Him out of their sight. 10And as they were gazing intently into the sky while He was going, behold, two men in white clothing stood beside them. 11They also said, “Men of Galilee, why do you stand looking into the sky? This Jesus, who has been taken up from you into heaven, will come in just the same way as you have watched Him go into heaven.”


The Upper Room

12Then they returned to Jerusalem from the mount called Olivet, which is near Jerusalem, a Sabbath day’s journey away. 13When they had entered the city, they went up to the upper room where they were staying; that is, Peter and John and James and Andrew, Philip and Thomas, Bartholomew and Matthew, James the son of Alphaeus, and Simon the Zealot, and Judas the son of James. 14These all with one mind were continually devoting themselves to prayer, along with the women, and Mary the mother of Jesus, and with His brothers.

15At this time Peter stood up in the midst of the brethren (a gathering of about one hundred and twenty persons was there together), and said, 16“Brethren, the Scripture had to be fulfilled, which the Holy Spirit foretold by the mouth of David concerning Judas, who became a guide to those who arrested Jesus. 17For he was counted among us and received his share in this ministry.” 18(Now this man acquired a field with the price of his wickedness, and falling headlong, he burst open in the middle and all his intestines gushed out. 19And it became known to all who were living in Jerusalem; so that in their own language that field was called Hakeldama, that is, Field of Blood.) 20“For it is written in the book of Psalms,

‘Let his homestead be made desolate,

  1. And let no one dwell in it’; and, ‘Let another man take his office.’


21Therefore it is necessary that of the men who have accompanied us all the time that the Lord Jesus went in and out among us— 22beginning with the baptism of John until the day that He was taken up from us—one of these must become a witness with us of His resurrection.” 23So they put forward two men, Joseph called Barsabbas (who was also called Justus), and Matthias. 24And they prayed and said, “You, Lord, who know the hearts of all men, show which one of these two You have chosen 25to occupy this ministry and apostleship from which Judas turned aside to go to his own place.” 26And they drew lots for them, and the lot fell to Matthias; and he was added to the eleven apostles.


The Day of Pentecost

1When the day of Pentecost had come, they were all together in one place. 2And suddenly there came from heaven a noise like a violent rushing wind, and it filled the whole house where they were sitting. 3And there appeared to them tongues as of fire distributing themselves, and they rested on each one of them. 4And they were all filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak with other tongues, as the Spirit was giving them utterance.

5Now there were Jews living in Jerusalem, devout men from every nation under heaven. 6And when this sound occurred, the crowd came together, and were bewildered because each one of them was hearing them speak in his own language. 7They were amazed and astonished, saying, “Why, are not all these who are speaking Galileans? 8And how is it that we each hear them in our own language to which we were born? 9Parthians and Medes and Elamites, and residents of Mesopotamia, Judea and Cappadocia, Pontus and Asia, 10Phrygia and Pamphylia, Egypt and the districts of Libya around Cyrene, and visitors from Rome, both Jews and proselytes, 11Cretans and Arabs—we hear them in our own tongues speaking of the mighty deeds of God.” 12And they all continued in amazement and great perplexity, saying to one another, “What does this mean?” 13But others were mocking and saying, “They are full of sweet wine.”


Peter’s Sermon

14But Peter, taking his stand with the eleven, raised his voice and declared to them: “Men of Judea and all you who live in Jerusalem, let this be known to you and give heed to my words. 15For these men are not drunk, as you suppose, for it is only the third hour of the day; 16but this is what was spoken of through the prophet Joel:

17‘And it shall be in the last days,’ God says, ‘That I will pour forth of My Spirit on all mankind;, we can see how this promise proved to be true. 


Eventually, Peter was called to carry the good news of Jesus beyond the borders of Israel, and decades into his work within the wider Roman world, he wrote this letter. We discover at the letter’s conclusion that Peter is in Rome (though he calls it Babylon), and we learn that, while Peter commissioned the letter, it was actually composed by his coworker Silvanus (1 Pet. 5:12-13


1 Peter 5:12-13



This was a circular letter that was sent to multiple church communities in the Roman province of Asia Minor (modern-day Turkey). Peter learned that these mostly non-Jewish Christians were being persecuted and facing hostility and harassment from their Greek and Roman neighbors (1 Pet. 2:12 3:16; 4:16). Peter wrote to encourage them in their suffering, and this context will help us understand the letter’s design and main themes.





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