I’ve been reading the book of Acts this past few weeks, and I found this book is so inspired. There is no such transformation like what happen to the disciples of Jesus Christ like Peter, John, Stephen, Philip, and others. But I want to focus on two characters, Peter and Paul, the most influenced Apostles in the first Century.
Peter was one of Jesus disciple who’s been with him since the beginning. He met Peter when he casting a net in the lake for he was a fisherman. Jesus called him and said “I will make you fishers of men”. And at once Peter and his brother Andrew followed Him. (Mark 1:16-17) He was married when Jesus called him for one time when his mother-in-law was sick, Jesus came to healed her (Mark 1:30-31). He was a brave heart. One time he said “Lord if it’s you, tell me to come to you on the water” Then he walk on the waterMatthew 14:28-31) but got afraid and sink, then Jesus help him. He was probably the most outspoken one among all the disciples of Jesus at the time when Jesus asked all his disciples “Who am I”, Peter came with the right answer “You are the Christ, the Son of the Living God” Matthew 15:16-19. He offered to build 3 shelters up in the mountain for Jesus, Moses and Elijah Luke 9:33. He was also got rebuked by Jesus “Get behind me Satan, you do not have in mind the things of God, but the things of men” Mark 8:33 when Peter rebuked him for telling the disciples about his suffering and death. Sometimes he full of zeal, like when Jesus predict that Peter would deny him, he insisted emphatically “Even if I have to die with you I will never disown” Mark 14: 30-31, But just a few hours later what Jesus become a fact “before the rooster crows twice, you will disown me three times. Peter shows his emotion he wept bitterly Mark 14:72. When the women talked about Jesus resurrection, other disciples didn’t believe them but Peter got up and ran to the tomb and find the strips of the linen wore by Jesus lying by themselves (Luke 24:12). I personally love his last deep conversation with Jesus in John 21:15-19 Jesus asked Peter if he truly loved Him, and when he was asked for the third times Peter was hurt but that moment he really understand what it means to love Jesus. After Jesus went up to heaven, Peter stood up. First to find the replacement for Judas Acts 1:15 and second with the Eleven to address the Crowd Acts 2:14, and the result was, 3000 get baptized. Then he heals the beggar in Acts 3, together with John got into jail because of that. Then rebuked Ananias and Sapphira to death in Acts 5. Peter acts continue to preach the Word of God boldly.
Paul came later on after Jesus ascent to heaven. He persecuted the disciples, His name first mention in Acts 8:1, He was there to confirm the death of Stephen. He was a student of Gamaliel, one of the famous Rabbi in his time. And he was smart and zeal in what he believed (Galatians 1:14). He came to Damascus to found the disciples so he can put them into prison, but instead God caught him and arrested him the rest of his life for His great purpose (Acts 9:1-19). Paul went through a hard time at the beginning of his conversion because He was hated by the Jews Leader but not fully accepted by the Christian either (Acts 9:23,26). But Paul is the man who didn’t wait for confirmation from man, he knew what God want him to do and he go for it. Paul was kind of fade away when the Christian told him to go back to Tarsus his hometown, But thank God Barnabas came to pick him up, and they were partner in Gospel since then (Acts 11:25-26). Paul became a great leader in the first century church and reach out to both Jews and Gentiles.
There were and amazing Parallels between Peter and Paul (Source “Revolution by Gordon Ferguson)
Both had key sermon in Acts. Peter in Acts 2 (Jerusalem)and Paul in Acts 13 (Pisidian Antioch)
Both heal a lame. Peter in Acts 3 (the crippled Beggar at the beautiful Gate Jerusalem) and Paul in Acts 14(a crippled man in Lystra)
Both were involved in miracles that brought judgement. Peter in Acts 5 (Ananias and Sapphira at Jerusalem), and Paul with Elymas the Sorcerer at Cyprus (Acts 13)
Both were freed from the Prison by miraculous intervention. Peter in Acts 12 (Jerusalem), and Paul in Acts 16 (Philippi).
Both raised the dead. Peter in Acts 9 (Joppa) and Paul in Acts 20 (Troas)
Both had miracles result from their persons. Peter Shadow in Acts 5:15, and Paul handkerchiefs and aprons in Acts 19:11-12
Both dealt with Sorcerer. Peter in Acts 8 (Simon in Samaria) and Paul in Acts 19:19 (Some people in Ephesus)
Both refuses worship from men. Peter in Caesarea Acts 10:25-26 and Paul at Lystra Acts 14:11-15
Both saw vision from God, Peter in Acts 10 . (Pray at the roof, about a large sheet contained impure and unclean animal) and Paul in Acts 16:9-10 (A Macedonian man begging him to come), Acts 18:9-10 (The Lord spoke to him) and Acts 26:12-19 (about his vision during the conversion)
Both were spoken to by the Holy Spirit. Peter in Acts 10:19-20 (about the 3 men from Cornelius) and Paul in Acts 20:22-23 (about going to Jerusalem, and hard time he will face)