7.4.3 Peter–the head of the early Apostles

In the presence of the other Apostles, the Lord granted Simon Peter special authority. His leading position among the Apostles took effect after the Lord's ascension into heaven, but was certainly already suggested prior to this event:

  • Peter was designated as the "rock" and was given the authority of the keys: "And I also say to you that you are Peter, and on this rock I will build My church, and the gates of Hades shall not prevail against it. And I will give you the keys of the kingdom of heaven, and whatever you bind on earth will be bound in heaven, and whatever you loose on earth will be loosed in heaven" (Matthew 16: 18-19).

  • Prior to His sacrificial death, it was to Peter that the Lord addressed the words: "Simon, Simon! Indeed, Satan has asked for you, that he may sift you as wheat. But I have prayed for you, that your faith should not fail: and when you have returned to Me, strengthen your brethren" (Luke 22: 31-32).
  • Peter spoke on behalf of the twelve Apostles. After many of the disciples had turned away from Jesus, Peter answered the question as to whether they too wanted to leave as follows: "Lord, to whom shall we go? You have the words of eternal life. Also we have come to believe and know that You are the Christ, the Son of the living God" (John 6: 68-69).
  • Peter was the one whom Jesus Christ asked the question: "Do you love Me?" Three times Peter affirmed that this was the case, whereupon the Lord entrusted His lambs and sheep to Peter's care (John 21: 15-17).
  • It was Peter who initiated the replacement of Judas Iscariot in the circle of the Apostles (Acts 1: 15-26), who preached the sermon on Pentecost (Acts 2: 14), and to whom the Lord showed that salvation in Christ was also intended for the Gentiles (Acts 10).