Who is Peter?

We started a new series on the First Epistle of Peter on Sunday, but who is the author?

Here is Steve's intro about the person of Peter.

Peter identifies himself as Peter, the Apostle of Jesus Christ. An apostle was a witness to the resurrected Jesus of Nazareth, someone who had been called and appointed by Jesus to lead this first generation of the new thing called the Church.

This means, Peter isn’t writing this as “friend” or even “pastor” or “leader”. He’s writing this letter under an immense weight of authority - he’s writing it as a called out, appointed, chosen witness of the most disruptive person and event of human history: God become flesh, God dead, God resurrected, in the person of Jesus.

Peter had been with Jesus since the beginning. Jesus came along and called him out of his career as a fisherman.

Peter’s the one who always spoke first among the followers of Jesus. Peter’s the one who, through the revealing work of the Holy Spirit, spoke the words that Jesus was God’s Messiah, the chosen, anointed One of promise that the Jewish nation had been longing for.

Peter is the one who has the audacity to walk on water, and the failure of nerve once he’s out of the boat. Peter is one of three who experienced the transfiguration of Jesus, when the primary prophets of Israel appeared, talking with Jesus, when the voice of God thundered across the mountain that Jesus was his beloved Son, when the appearance of Jesus was changed and made radiant with the glory of God. Peter was there.

Peter was the one who upon hearing Jesus speak of the death that awaited him in Jerusalem vows that it should never be so. The one to whom Jesus says, get behind me satan--you do not have the concerns of God.

Peter was the one who refused to let Jesus wash his feet, but upon hearing that without this washing he’d have no part of Jesus, begs for his entire being to be washed. Peter was the one who vowed never to desert Jesus, even if it meant death.

Tradition has it that Peter was the one who struck off the ear of the High Priest’s servant at the arrest scene of Jesus. Peter was the one who fled, but followed at a distance. Peter was the one who denied Jesus three times, fearing even the penetrating stare of a young girl, cursing up a storm in an attempt to distance himself from the strange God-Man Jesus.

Peter was the one who wept bitterly at his own failure, his own disowning of Jesus. Peter was the one who ran to the empty tomb. Peter was the one who encountered the risen Jesus and was asked, “Peter, do you love me?” Do you love me. Do you love me. Feed my sheep. Feed my sheep.

Peter was the one that Jesus said would be the stone upon which the Church would be built. Peter was the one who, filled with the Holy Spirit, stood up among his brothers and preached the gospel of Jesus crucified and risen.

Peter was the one who had a vision of unclean things being made clean, the one who was told to speak the name of Jesus to Gentiles. Peter was the one who would eventually be dragged to Rome and crucified upside down, a final, gruesome testament to the upending of his entire life by Jesus of Nazareth.

From Pentecost on, Peter wandered among his own people as a stranger, embodying the very exile that he now attributes to the churches scattered throughout Asia Minor.

Peter, the one who’s entire life has been marked by reconciliation to Jesus, the one who’s entire life is now wrapped up in the task Jesus has given to him: to feed the sheep of God, begins to kneed the dough of spiritual bread in this letter to exiles, dispersed throughout the empire.