by Tad Lindley
The Apostle Peter was one of Jesus’ twelve disciples. From humble beginnings, he rose to become the first Christian preacher ever, and the first to reach non-Jews with the message of Bible salvation.
DD: Peter, tell us how you became involved with the ministry.
Peter: I used to be a commercial fisherman. My brother Andrew and I were fishing in the Sea of Galilee when this fellow shouted out to us from the beach, “Follow me and I will make you fishers of men”. (Matthew 4:18-20)
DD: Why didn’t you stay with fishing? It seems like it would have been a more reliable income than preaching.
Peter: I was too deep into the Way, as we used to call it. Before Jesus ascended up into heaven, he talked to us about what his plan for us was. Fishing wasn’t part of it. In fact it was all about the building up of the church. His plan was for us to reach the entire known world, preaching repentance and remission of sins in His name. (Luke 24:47)
DD: You have been billed as the first Christian preacher. How did that come about?
Peter: It came about almost by chance. You see I haven’t always been a Godly man. In fact the Lord put me in my place a number of times. He even went so far as to tell me to my face that I wasn’t saved. (Luke 22:32)
DD: Wait a minute Apostle Peter; weren’t you saved when Jesus called you from a life of commercial fishing? I mean you walked on water and all that.
Peter: Jesus told me straight to my face, after I had seen many miracles, and worked miracles through his power, “When you are converted strengthen your brothers”.
DD: Ouch. So when were you actually “converted”?
Peter: On the day of Pentecost. All those who were left were gathering in Jerusalem and waiting for the Lord. We were praying together every day. The other disciples were there, Mary, the mother of Jesus. There were about 120 of us all told. (Acts 1)
DD: Tell me more about what happened on the day of Pentecost.
Peter: It was awesome. We were gathered in an upper room praying and waiting for God to do something. Next thing I knew there was a loud roaring sound like you get during windstorms. Then there was fire in the air over our heads, and Jesus filled us with His spirit. I was praying in Galilean one instant and the next I was talking in a language I did not know. The place just exploded. It was an unspeakable joy and so glorious. We spilled out into the streets and people began to gather to see what was going on. (Acts 2:1-4)
DD: That’s the beginning of the New Testament church right?
Peter: Yes, you’re right. Now some of the onlookers asked if we were drunk. At that point things slowed down a little bit. I got up and began to explain that we were not drunk, but that we had been filled with the Holy Ghost. (Acts 2:12-21)
DD: Yes, I’ve read Luke’s transcript of your sermon that day. You preached it pretty hard; I am surprised that the people didn’t kill you.
Peter: In fact the opposite happened. About 3,000 people were born again. (Acts 2:41)
DD: What do you mean by “born again”?
Peter: Jesus taught that we were born again when we were born of water and born of the spirit. (John 3:1-7) Specifically, we baptized 3,000 people in Jesus’ name, and they too received the gift of the Holy Ghost.
DD: Was that the largest number of people you had in one service?
Peter: Well, there were more than 3,000 on the day of Pentecost. Three thousand is the number of people that believed the message I was preaching. We actually had a greater move of God a few days later. That started with a miracle of healing, at the Temple’s Beautiful Gate. The place just lit up. By the time it was all done, 5,000 were added to the church. (Acts 3)
To be continued.