As you read through the following references and quotes about the progress of Peter's life in terms of suffering, see how he was transformed from glory to glory.
His first letter reveals how the Lord had brought him to a point of being able to endure suffering for the glory of God....
Click here to study the Greek words used in first Peter for Suffering.
It is interesting that the word ' pascho ' (which is the main word used in first Peter for suffering, where we get the modern word 'passion' from) is used in the gospel account to describe that which Christ was to go through. Peter is seen as strongly opposing such a thought at this stage....
From that time
Jesus began to show to His disciples that He
must go to Jerusalem, and suffer (' pascho ') many things from the
elders and chief priests and scribes,and be killed, and be raised
the third day.
Then Peter took Him aside and began to rebuke Him, saying,
"Far be it from You, Lord; this shall not happen to You!"
But He turned and said to Peter, "Get behind Me, Satan! You
are an offense to Me, for you are not mindful of the things of
God, but the things of men."
Later we see Peter saying that he did not fear such suffering himself. We see that he didn't know his own heart and that when the prospect of personal suffering was very real he denied Christ....
Peter said to
Him, "Even if all are made to stumble, yet I will not be."
Jesus said to him, "Assuredly, I say to you that today, even this
night, before the rooster crows twice, you will deny Me three
But he spoke more vehemently, "If I have to die with You, I will
not deny You!" And they all said likewise.
And a second time
the rooster crowed. Then Peter called to
mind the word that Jesus had said to him, "Before the rooster
crows twice, you will deny Me three times." And when he
thought about it, he wept.
But we see that Jesus did not give up on him and after His resurrection aappeared once more to Peter and prophecied that indeed he would suffer and become a martyr for Christ (according to tradition he was martyred in Rome by being crucified upside down) ...
I say to you, when you were younger, you
girded yourself and walked where you wished; but when you
are old, you will stretch out your hands, and another will gird
you and carry you where you do not wish."
This He spoke, signifying by what death he would glorify God.
And when He had spoken this, He said to him, "Follow Me."
In the book of Acts, after Peter is filled with the Spirit, we see him boasting of Christ's sufferings and he is bold in his witness for the Gospel and willing to suffer (he is put in prison for this bold witness in Acts 12:3-19)...
"But those things
which God foretold by the mouth of all His
prophets, that the Christ would suffer, He has thus fulfilled.
"The early traditions reported that he (Peter) was put to death by crucifixion, but in a very extraordinary way, with his head downwards - a mode of martyrdom sometimes practiced for the sake of aggravating the sufferings of the martyr..." (This was predicted by the Lord in John 21:18 and Peter seems to know this event is near at hand when he writes his next letter. In 2 Peter 1:14 he states '..shortly I must put off this my tabernacle, even as our Lord Jesus hath showed me." ) ....Another tradition mentions ,that his wife was led to martyrdom first, and that on seeing her pass before him, the holy apostle exhorted her to be faithful to the end exclaiming, "Oh, remember the Lord!""
Taken from Foxe's Annuals of Martyrs, Inspirational Promotions (p37)
Further writings show that Peter was imprisoned for nine months in Rome before being crucified upsidedown on Vatican hill by the emporer Nero (he would be nearing the age of 70)...
"How Peter managed to survive those nine long dreadful months is beyond human imagination. During his entire incarceration he was manacled in an upright position, chained to the column, unable to lay down to rest. Yet, his magnificent spirit remained undaunted. It flamed with the immortal fervour of his noble soul proclaiming the Glory of God, through His Son, Jesus Christ. History tells us the amazing fact that in spite of all the suffering Peter was subjected to, he converted his gaolers, Processus and Martinianus, and forty-seven others.....(He) met his death at Rome by the hands of murderous Romans, who crucified him, according to their fiendish manner. He refused to die in the same position as our Lord, declaring he was unworthy. Peter demanded to be crucified in the reverse position, with his head hanging downwards. Ironically enough, this wish was gratified by the taunting Romans in Nero's circus A.D.67." (The Drama of the Lost Disciples, George F.Jowett, p176).
What an awesome change we see in Peter. God's dealings had brought him to the point of realizing that the way to live a life truly glorifying the Creator was one totally surrendered to His dealings, even if this meant persecution and eventual martyrdom.
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