Essay on The Role of Peter in the Ministry of Jesus

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The Role of Peter in the Ministry of Jesus

Peter is mentioned 39 times in the fourth gospel, which is much more than in either of the other synoptics. The fourth gospel does not have an inner circle so to speak as existed in Mark’s gospel and is not the key figure, again just like in Mark’s gospel, in the fourth gospel the Beloved Disciple is the key figure, but whenever he is mentioned so is Peter.

Peter’s first mention in the gospel is when his brother Andrew says that the Messiah has been found and he wants to retrieve his brother, who was then called Simon. Jesus renamed him Peter, ‘He [Andrew] bought Simon to Jesus, who looked at him and said, ‘You are Simon son of John. You are to be
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washing someone else’s feet. When Jesus got around to Peter, he didn’t understand why Jesus, the Messiah, wanted to wash his feet he didn’t think he was worthy of Jesus washing his feet. But once Jesus explained Peter got over excited and said, ‘Lord, not my feet only but also my hands and my head!’ This shows that Peter really wanted to be apart of Jesus’ ministry.

At the beginning of the gospel, however, Peter doesn’t choose to become a disciple of Jesus he is brought by his brother Andrew and doesn’t express faith until later in the gospel. During chapter 6, Jesus asks the twelve disciples a question, ‘Do you wish to go away?’, but Peter answers for all of the disciples, ‘Lord, to whom can we go? You have the words of eternal life. We have come to believe and know that you are the Holy One of God.’ This shows how Peter learns to believe in Jesus. Peter matures in faith and becomes closer to the person Jesus wants him to be.

After Jesus is crucified, and is discovered to have disappeared from his tomb by Mary Magdalene, Peter and the Beloved Disciple race to the tomb, this race symbolises the two types of Christianity, Peter being the Jewish Christians and the Beloved Disciple being the Gentile Christians. The Beloved Disciple arrives to the tomb
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