5. Peter was inspired by God – Jesus says it was not flesh and blood, but the Spirit that revealed the truth to Peter
6. Peter was the chief apostle – In every list in the gospels Peter comes first. Judas comes last. In the Acts of the Apostles Peter takes the lead and preaches at the foundation of the church at Pentecost. He takes the lead in admitting the Gentiles to the Church and it is his authority that even Paul defers to when there is a question or disagreement.
7. Peter was the steward in the kingdom of God – “The keys to the kingdom” refer to Isaiah 22:22 where the king places the keys of the kingdom on a sash over the steward’s shoulder. This was a sign of authority. The steward held the kings authority in trust if the king was absent. Jesus is therefore making Peter his vicar on earth–the steward of his kingdom in his absence.
8. Peter was the Chief Shepherd appointed by the Good Shepherd – At the end of John’s gospel Jesus says to Peter, “If you love me feed my sheep.” He says this three times solemnly. He is therefore appointing Peter as the Chief Shepherd of the flock in his absence. Jesus is the Good Shepherd. He appoints Peter to take that responsibility.
9. Peter’s role was successive – Some non Catholics will admit that Peter had great responsibility, but deny that the authority continued to his successors. His role as steward sets that straight. The steward’s role in the Jewish kingdom was a successive office. When one steward was at the end of his term he handed the keys to his successor. The passage in Isaiah 22 shows this taking place.
10. Peter ended his days in Rome – When we say he founded the church at Rome we mean he was there as a founding father along with St Paul. We know he was in Rome because at the end of the first epistle of Peter he says he is in “babylon” which was an early Christian code word for Rome.
Go here to read You Are Peter – Scriptural Support for the Authority of the First Pope go here to Read The Authority of the First Popes
Go here to learn about my book More Christianity –a friendly explanation of the Catholic faith to Evangelical Christians.