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Peter’s Leadership and Initiative


Simon Peter had inborn leadership qualities and acceptance among the apostles. We see Peter’s initiative in doing things and his boldness to talk to Jesus or address others representing the twelve:

1. After Jesus taught on eating his body and drinking his blood to gain eternal life (Jn 6:54), many of his disciples, except the 12 left him. Then Jesus asked the apostles, “Do you also want to leave?” Simon Peter answered him, “Master, to whom shall we go? You have the words of eternal life. We have come to believe and are convinced that you are the Holy One of God” (Jn 6:67-69).

2. When the disciples saw Jesus walking on the waters of the sea, Peter said to Jesus, “Lord, if it is you, command me to come to you on the water” (Mt 14:28).

3. In answer to Jesus’ question to his disciples, “Who do you say that I am?” Simon Peter replied, “You are the Messiah, the Son of the living God” (Mt 16:16).

4. When Jesus predicted his passion, death, and resurrection, Peter took Jesus aside and rebuked him, saying, “Far be it from you, Lord! This shall never happen to you” (Mt 16:22).

5. During the transfiguration experience on a high mountain, Peter said to Jesus, “Lord, it is good that we are here. If you wish, I will make three tents here, one for you, one for Moses, and one for Elijah” (Mt 17:4).

6. Once Peter asked Jesus, “Lord, if my brother sins against me, how often must I forgive him? As many as seven times?” (Mt 18:21)

7. At the last supper, Jesus said to the apostles, “This night all of you will have your faith in me shaken …” Then Peter said to him in reply, “Though all may have their faith in you shaken, mine will never be” (Mt 26:33).

8. While the soldiers attempted to arrest Jesus in the Garden of Gethsemane, “Simon Peter, who had a sword, drew it, struck the high priest’s slave, and cut off his right ear. The slave’s name was Malchus” (Jn 18:10).

9. After the resurrection of Jesus, Peter took the initiative at the Sea of Tiberias to go for fishing and six other disciples joined him (Jn 21:1-3). When he realized it was Jesus on the shore guiding them for the great catch of fish, he jumped into the sea and approached Jesus while the other disciples came in the boat (Jn 21:7-8).

10. When Jesus predicted Peter’s martyrdom, he asked Jesus, pointing to John, “Lord, what about him?” (Jn 21:21)

11. After the Ascension of Jesus, Peter addressed 120 disciples in Jerusalem to select an apostle to replace Judas Iscariot (Acts 1:15-16).

12. After receiving the Holy Spirit on the day of Pentecost, Peter stood up with the Eleven, raised his voice, and addressed the Jews (Acts 2:14).

Thus, Peter was a spokesperson and a natural leader among the apostles. Because of his boldness and deep faith in the Messiah of Jesus, Jesus appointed him as the head of the Church.

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