Did St. Peter act like a pope?

[quote=BrianH]I think it is also reading too much into it.
[/quote]

^That’s the first time I’ve ever heard a Protestant say that Catholics have gone too deep into Scripture! :wink:

In the NT, the Apostle Peter is a truely wonderful example of what our part in the Fellowship of Christ should be. The strength of his faith grew throughout the NT. Jesus even tells us in Matthew 21:21-22 that our faith without doubting could result in us telling a mountain to throw itself into the sea. Why dont you see men doing this today? Our carnal minds dont allow it to happen. Even after he told his apostles and disciples this possible feat in faith first hand, we dont ever see it performed. How great our faith can be though!

So lets go to Matthew 16 that Catholics so love to use as the “moment” Jesus instituted the lineage of popes.

Jesus asks his disciples, “Who do people say I am?” And there are some answers giving back at Jesus. The disciples heard alot of names people referred to Jesus as to this point. And they had no problem listing them off to Jesus. Holy Scripture doesn’t say who answered back to Jesus, but Peter could of, or then again, maybe he didn’t. But it is the next question that Jesus asked that tried the faith of ALL who heard him ask. It was the disciples who were put on the spot, for it was their carnal mind vs. their faith.

Then Jesus asks them all a new question. “Who do you say I am?” Now Jesus has set something off in their minds. Jesus is asking them who do they “believe” he is. Believe=faith. They all saw what Jesus had been teaching and what miracles he was performing. But their carnal minds stopped a instant, unaminous answer back to Jesus.
Peter, says “You are the Christ, the son of the Living God.” At that moment, he totally yielded his carnal thoughts to God, and through God, Peter spoke the right answer. What a landmark statement! But yet, if it wasnt for the act of totally yielding one’s mind to God, that answer would of never of been giving. Why? Jesus followers for the most part were no name, no faced people.

Jesus replys back-"Blessed are you, Simon, son of Jonah, for this was not revealed to you by man, but by my father in heaven.

Imagine the thoughts the disciples might of had in their heads when Jesus asked this question of faith----Who were THEY to announce who the Messiah was? What would the Sanhedrin say about this? The Sanhedrin was the authority of interpreting Holy Scripture and prophecy, right?!(cough, cough, magesterium) They would be surely punished or excommunicated if they made such a statement that they knew who the Messiah is and now is present among those in the world.

By that act of faith Peter performed, the foundation statement and belief that Jesus is the Christ, son of God, he will build his church upon.

Look at the Our Father prayer-
"Thy Kingdom come, thy will be done…"
His Holy Church is in heaven with Jesus sitting at the right hand of the Father, and is also present on earth. We will do his work now. Jesus is the cornerstone, the most important “rock” to build upon. What other rock has the same importance as Jesus cornerstone? Saying there is a pope, which I believe means papa(?!), who by the catholic church says is the authoritive leader here on earth of the church Christ founded. Doesnt the “Our Father” tell us there is no separation of his church on Earth and in Heaven? So saying there is a the High Priest in Heaven and one High leader on earth says there is a two dimensions to Jesus’ church. I dont think so. Yes, there are church elders, but not one specific “Chair”. There is the cornerstone, and the rocks of faith we lay down upon that. All have the same structually properties that rest upon Jesus.

So we picture Christ as the cornerstone of the church he founded. Peter laid his rock of faith down, no doubtedly by Christs cornerstone. For nearly the past 2000 years, there have been those who laid their rock of faith down, building ON TOP of othere who have doen so. So we see this building forming. So what about Peter’s rock of faith and the new “popes” to come? The “pope” we assume earlier in his life, he has made the landmark statement that Jesus is Christ, the son of God, his savior. His rock of faith has been laid on Jesus’ Church.

So Jesus continues and says-“And I tell you that you are Peter, and on this rock I will build my church, and the gates of Hell will not overcome it.”

(continued)

(continued)
So is the CC saying that when a believer becomes a “pope”, there is a new rock of Faith that is laid down directly Jesus’ cornerstone? That meaning there are two rocks of faith a “pope” must put down on the church Jesus founded? One regular rock of faith at the top, and one rock of faith as “pope” later at the bottom by the cornerstone Jesus? So who shuffles around the rocks to place the new papal rock down to the cornerstone? Maybe there is a “papal” rock that was laid directly down by the cornerstone, you know one that represents all the popes to come. But if that is so, structually, how does that “papal” rock become more structually significant than all other rocks of faith that have been laid down on the cornerstone? Sounds silly doesnt it?!

Paul in 1Corinthians 3 that we all must lay down a rock like an expert builder, because someone else will be building upon it(our children, those who we witness to). So again, how can any other rock in this church that is present in heaven and earth at the same time have more signifigance than the cornerstone, Jesus. What we build with will be tested, but yet our laying down our faith is the most important starting point. Where does you faith stop? Does it ever stop growing, to Peter, it obviously never stopped growing.

Back to Peter, disciple and apostle of Jesus, up until his landmark statement in Matt 16, his faith has been shown up by others. The faith of the Centurion, the sick woman, the ruler who had a dead daughter who had faith that Jesus could raise her, and the Canaanite woman showed how Jesus responded on how great their faith was(all in Matthew leading up to Peters confession of Christ, go figure!). So we see Jesus is looking for faith, those who TOTALLY yield to self and carnal knowledge and putting all trust into God, through Jesus Christ.(why is this so hard for people to figure out?)

So like working a muscle to stregthen, Peter strenghtens his faith by examples of others faith in Jesus, by learning Jesus’ teachings, and his shortcomings. Jesus prays that Peter may not be sifted like Satan would like to do, because Jesus knows that Peters growing and great faith would be needed to help spread the gospel when Jesus is gone. Jesus seen the growth of Peters faith. He told Peter he would deny him 3 times. How could Peter agree with that in faith when Jesus told him that? Again, Jesus gives him another lesson in faith----Gods word is true. Peter, seeing another truth of God come to life by realizing he did deny Christ 3 times, has his faith grow stronger than ever.

So now we see in Acts 5:12-16, there are many who now have faith in Jesus that he is the Christ, Son of God through the apostles’ many miraculaous signs an wonders to the people, made possible by God in the name of Jesus and the power of the Holy Spirit. Peter’s faith is so great in the God in the name of Jesus, the people who believe lay sick in the streets so that Peter’s shadow might fall on them.

1.So does this show Peters great faith by accepting the gift of healing by the Holy Spirit and believing in it?

  1. Or does this passage in Holy Scripture show a magical mystical power that Jesus gave to Peter and Peter only?
DISCLAIMER: The views and opinions expressed in these forums do not necessarily reflect those of Catholic Answers. For official apologetics resources please visit www.catholic.com.