Summary: Peter's five places of ministry
A. TRACES OF PETER IN SCRIPTURE
1. He traveled with his wife. “Do we not have the right to take along a believing wife, as do all the other apostles . . . and Cephas?” (1 Cor. 9:5).
2. He had a confrontation with Paul. “When Peter had come to Antioch, I withstood him to his face” (Gal. 2:11).
3. John Mark was his associate. The gospel of Mark was influenced by Peter.
B. THE FIVE PLACES OF MINISTRY
1. Peter ministered in Antioch. Galatians 2:11-14, Peter was comfortable with Jewish Christians and his “sin” was letting legalistic believers intimidate him. “Before certain men came from James, he would eat with Gentiles, but when they came, he withdrew” (Gal. 2:12).
2. Peter ministered in Asia Minor. “To the pilgrims of the dispersion of Pontus, Galatia, Cappadocia, Asia, and Bithynia” (1 Peter 1:1). When Paul preached in this region the Synagogue was often divided; unbelieving Jews became antagonistic to believing Jews. Peter’s first epistle deals with suffering.
3. Peter ministered in Babylon. Babylon (on the Euphrates River) had one of the largest populations of Jews, who were considered more orthodox than those in Jerusalem. “She (the church) who is Babylon, elect together with you, greet you, so does Mark” (1 Peter 5:13).
4. Tradition claims Peter went to England. Some claim the Abbey of St. Peter’s in Westminster is built on the spot where Peter received the vision of his imminent death, “Knowing that shortly I must put off my tent, just as our Lord Jesus Christ showed me”(2 Peter 1:14). Peter did not get this vision in London, but on the shore of Galilee. Jesus predicted His martyrdom. “When you were younger, you girded yourself . . . but when you are old, you will stretch out your hands” (John 21:18). “This He spoke, signifying by what death he would glorify God. And when He had spoken this, he said to him ‘Follow me’” (John 21:19).
Peter’s response: What about John? (John 21:21).
Jesus’ response: You/thou me (John 21:22).
5. Peter ministered in Rome/Papal States. While he was not the first bishop/pope, most Bible teachers agree he was martyred in Rome.
a. His wife crucified first, Peter was forced to watch.
b. Peter’s last stand: “Christ also suffered for us, leaving us an example, that you should follow His steps” (1 Peter 2:21).
C. ATTITUDES WHEN SUFFERING
“Beloved, do not think it strange concerning the fiery trial which is to try you, as though some strange thing happened to you; but rejoice to the extent that you partake of Christ’s sufferings, that when His glory is revealed, you may also be glad with exceeding joy. If you are reproached for the name of Christ, blessed are you, for the Spirit of glory and of God rests upon you. On their part He is blasphemed, but on your part He is glorified. But let none of you suffer as a murderer, a thief, an evildoer, or as a busybody in other people’s matters. Yet if anyone suffers as a Christian, let him not be ashamed, but let him glorify God in this matter. For the time has come for judgment to begin at the house of God; and if it begins with us first, what will be the end of those who do not obey the gospel of God?” (1 Peter 4:12-17).
1. Expect it. “Do not think it strange concerning the fiery trial which is to try you” (1 Peter 4:12).
2. Identify with Christ partakers of Christ’s sufferings (I Peter 4:13).
3. God will bless you if you are reproached for the name of Christ, blessed are you (1 Peter 4:14).
4. Biblical blessing for suffering doesn’t come from misconduct. “Let none of you suffer as a murderer, a thief, and evildoer” (1 Peter 4:15).
5. Glorify God. “If anyone suffers as a Christian, let him not be ashamed, but let him glorify God in this manner” (1 Peter 4:16).
6. Persecution starts with Christians. “For the time has come for judgment to begin at the house of God” (1 Peter 4:17).
7. Commit to God. “Let those who suffer according to the will of God commit their souls to Him in doing good” (1 Peter 4:19).
If you have never really accepted Jesus as your personal Savior, would you do it right now? Do not delay or put it off. If you would like to receive Christ by faith, pray this simple prayer in your heart:
Dear Lord, I acknowledge that I am a sinner. I believe Jesus died for my sins on the cross, and rose again the third day. I repent of my sins. By faith I receive the Lord Jesus as my Savior. You promised to save me, and I believe You, because You are God and cannot lie. I believe right now that the Lord Jesus is my personal Savior, and that all my sins are forgiven through His precious blood. I thank You, dear Lord, for saving me. In Jesus’ name, Amen.