Why is Saint Peter at the Gates of Heaven?

Saint Peter is at the gates of heaven to greet the righteous souls and repel those who lived a life unworthy of God’s kingdom. Reasons that explain why God chose St. Peter to stand in front of the pearly entrance are many:

  • Peter was one of twelve apostles.
  • Together with his brother Peter was the first to recognize Jesus Christ as the son of Creator.
  • Peter was most passionate when it came to the question of protecting Jesus Christ.
  • He felt shame for his sins and blindly followed and loved Jesus.
  • Peter remained firm in his fate which is why Jesus chose him to lead the church after he is gone.
  • Until he was brutally executed, Peter fought to spread the word of God as best as he could.

Who Was Saint Peter?

Peter was a fisherman in Bethsaida and his original name was Simon. He was the son of John and had a brother named Andrew with whom he became a disciple of Jesus. Peter is also considered to be the only man who walked on water besides Jesus. However, after making one successful step he sunk because his faith started wavering. Later, he was named Peter. It meant the rock and was assigned to him by Jesus for his strong fate. He was the first elder of the early church and was martyred by Nero.

How Did Saint Peter Die?

Saint Peter was crucified. At the time, the crucifixion was a common way to die for those who observed God in a way opposed to the interests of the Roman emperor. Rome was the place where he was nailed for the cross around 64 years A.D. Before execution started Peter expressed his one last wish: to be turned upside down. The reason for such a plea was that he did not feel worthy enough to die the same way Jesus did. According to many sources, his wish was granted.

Saint Peter having his wish granted and being crucified upside-down

Saint Peter being crucified

Who Killed Saint Peter?

Saint Peter’s Principles: Leadership for Those Who Already Know Their Incompetence

Roman emperor Nero is the one responsible for Saint Peter’s death. Debaucheries, political murders, passion for music and prosecution of Christians were all things Nero was famous for. However, the greatest of them all was putting the capital of the empire on fire. Nero disliked the way Rome looked so he decided to burn it down. The fire happened in July 64 A.D. As the flames devoured the city, the mad emperor was sitting on his terrace and fiddling. It was only a few months before the fire that his orders resulted in the crucifixion of Saint Peter. He blamed Christians for burning down Rome. However, his madness had to finish at some point. Four years later he ended in committing suicide. It happened On 9th June in AD 68. This made him the first Roman Emperor to take his own life. Such a decision ensued from the acknowledgment that he had been proclaimed for the public enemy and condemned to death.

 

Why did Jesus call Peter the Rock?

As it was already mentioned, when debating Saint Peter’s name it is important to understand that it was the way Jesus observed and thought of his faith. Simon, as it was the original name of the saint, always stood at Jesus’s side. Without thinking it twice, he gave Jesus his only fishing boat to help him preach for disciples that would gather around the shore. He was the only one ready to fight for Jesus. The night Jesus was arrested, Peter even drew the sword and wounded one of the high priest servants. All these were features of strong faith Jesus noticed long before they came to light. On the old Hebrew Peter means rock. Since messiah knew no better word to describe the faith of his most loyal disciple, Simon was renamed into Peter. Peter was also considered to be responsible for the last miracle son of God committed on earth.

Did Saint Peter Induce Jesus to Commit His Last Miracle?

A brief answer is yes. Malchus was the name of the high priest’s servant who Peter struck with a sword cutting his ear off. It was then that Jesus exclaimed: No more of this! After the shout, he touched the Malchus ear and healed it instantly. This was the last miracle Jesus performed. He told Peter to put his sword back into its place stating that all who take with sword will also perish with the sword. Unfortunately, even rocks crack. Eventually, peter renounced Jesus three times.

Apostle Peter striking the High Priests' servant Malchus with a sword in the Garden of Gethsemane

Apostle Peter striking the High Priests’ servant Malchus with a sword in the Garden of Gethsemane

Why Did Peter Deny Jesus Three Times?

Peter renounced Jesus because of fear. He had no specific commands about what to do after Jesus is gone. And dangers were lurking from everywhere. Jesus was not the only one to be crucified. Romans chased all who declared as his disciples and wanted to execute them. Crucifixion was shameful and agonizing death. During illegal night trials, when he was asked if he is a disciple, Peter said no. Two times Peter denied Jesus and the third time he even cursed at the servant girl who questioned him claiming he doesn’t even know Jesus. With that statement, Jesus’s prediction became true. On the last supper, Messiah told Peter that he was going to renounce him three times before the rooster crows.

Did Jesus Forgive Peter?

Jesus forgave Peter for everything. After he resurrected he told Mary Magdalene: Go tell the disciples and Peter. Peter and John raced to the tomb. John came first but was just peering inside the tomb so, as soon as he arrived, Peter pushed him aside and barged in. There he met Jesus who forgave him and gave him another chance.

Interesting Facts About Peter

Peter is patron of fishermen. He was also very humble. When Jesus wanted to wash his feet as he did with all of his disciples, Peter didn’t let him. However, after explaining to him that they cannot connect without that act, Peter agreed to let Jesus do it. Peter also promised to give his life for him. He was all or nothing kind of man. Another interesting fact regarding the guardian of Heavenly gates is that he is present in many heathen folk tales. One of them is about the origins of Halloween pumpkin carving tradition.

Saint Peter and Stingy Jack

Stingy Jack was an Irish drunkard and trickster who managed to seduce even Satan himself. Devil promised to drunkard that he will never let him enter hell. But when Jack came in front of the pearly gates Peter declined him the entrance stating that being cast from hell doesn’t mean one has right to enter heaven. After realizing that Peter was going to be the first being he cannot trick, Stingy jack went to hell. However, Satan couldn’t let him in due to his promise and Jack was doomed to walk in the vail of between-world for eternity. Satan gave him a little ember to light his way. In order to keep flame, Jack took a turnip, carved its top, and placed an ember inside.

Saint Peter and the Angel of Death

Some historians and religious experts connect Saint Peter and the angel of death. According to Jewish beliefs, Azrael is the one who follows the word of God and collects human souls when their time has come. Bad ones he drops to hell. Worthy ones he carries in front of pearly gates and hands them to Saint Peter.

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