Peter: Jesus’ Twin
What Luke Wants us to Learn
There are three people in Luke-Acts who look like triplets. The triplets repeat the same patterns.
For example, all three are raised from the dead. All three people give the Holy Spirit to believers. These same three people all heal a man, lame from his mother’s womb. Strikingly, the same three men raise people from the dead. All three are attacked and seized by mobs. All three are invited to the home of a Roman soldier. All three receive the Spirit from above. Patterns are repeated. Coincidence?
Peter: Jesus' Twin
What Luke Wants Us to Learn
All three preach sermons that declare that prophecy has been fulfilled. All three begin mission journeys to Gentiles. All three encounter widows. All three men are depicted as traveling to Jerusalem. All three people are opposed by either Pharisees or Sadducees. All three confront Satan or his minions. Are these repeated patterns accidental?
Most significantly, these same three men all experience the patterns of death and resurrection. Wow!
Patterns keep repeating themselves in these same three people. The three people appear to be triplets. Patterns cannot be dismissed as fortuitous or accidental. Patterns betray intentionality, structure, and purpose.
One of the three people showing this pattern is Peter. Peter heals a man lame from his mother’s womb (Acts 3). Peter also confers the Holy Spirit to believing Samaritans (Acts 8). He also raises the dead (Acts 11). Moreover, Peter himself experiences a death and a type of resurrection (Acts 12).
I know. You’ve never heard these things before. But a close reading of Acts 12 and a comparison with Luke’s account of Jesus’ resurrection in Luke 24 will spot the connection. A careful analysis shows that Luke intended for us to read the story of Peter in Acts 12 as a type of Jesus’ resurrection from the dead.
The two stories are twins, mirrors of each other. The story of Peter’s resurrection points backwards to the story of Jesus’ resurrection (All of the individual stories in Acts, whether of Peter or Paul, point back to a story of Jesus in Luke’s Gospel).
Here are just a few story links connecting the two accounts of Jesus and Peter. Both resurrection stories occur during Passover and Unleavened Bread (the link of a major religious feast, focusing on the death of the lamb). Both accounts involve soldiers and angels (representatives of heaven). Both accounts use the language (seen in the Greek text alone) of resurrection and of the theme of something that “flashes.”
Both Jesus and Peter, after resurrection, appear first to a woman. The women’s reports are not believed. Both accounts include the mention of Mary. Both groups who hear the report consider the women crazy. Both stories involve Peter.
Amazement is expressed in both accounts. The two stories follow the same flow of thought and chronological sequence. The two stories were written to parallel each other. Too many parallels to blame as a coincidence or as accidental.
The question remains: why did Luke intentionally compose the story of Peter in Acts 12 to be aligned with the story of Jesus’ resurrection in Luke 24? Why did Luke deliberately compose the Peter story to mirror the Jesus’ resurrection story? Why does Peter look like Jesus’ twin? Is there an answer? Yes!
Listen to the sermon from Easter morning for further exposition here.