Skip to main content Skip to search Skip to header Skip to footer


Three men and a mission

From the June 2005 issue of The Christian Science Journal

IT'S ALMOST BREATHTAKING the way Christianity expanded during the 50 years following Jesus' resurrection and ascension. What had been an obscure sect of Judaism was now putting down roots throughout the Roman Empire with astonishing speed. During this vital period when Christianity was still emerging as a separate movement, Jesus' earliest followers differed greatly in the way they worked, yet they were animated by the same spirit.

This diversity was evident in the methods of three of Christianity's key pioneers: Peter, James, and Paul. Outside of the book of Acts and the letters of Paul, the historical record for this period is extremely sparse. Yet one thing is certain: These three men were not at all alike, either in their approach to Jesus' instructions or in their ideas about how to carry them forward. Despite this, the result of their work was to spread Christianity and deepen its roots.

According to Matthew's Gospel, Jesus commissioned Peter to lead his church.See Matt. 16:18 . Peter was among the very first of Jesus' disciples, and Jesus gave special care and instruction to him. This concluded with Jesus' request that he "feed my sheep" and "follow thou me."See John 21:15–22. Peter became a missionary and a preacher, who focused on healing and spreading the gospel.

Sign up for unlimited access

You've accessed 1 piece of free Journal content


Subscription aid available

 Try free

No card required

More In This Issue / June 2005


Explore Concord—see where it takes you.

Search the Bible and Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures