Peter – the Rock: bible references and more

Peter – the Rock is a follow-up to The Jesus Story.

Janet, our Musical Director, said to me: “You’ll have to write something about Pentecost” (the coming of the Holy Spirit). I thought that the life of Peter would fit the bill.

I already had two songs from The Jesus Story: Follow, Follow and Peter’s Denial. Other songs written a while back, like The Spirit of God and Kingdom Road, fitted in as they were. For some new songs, like What sort of Man?, Confession of Faith and Peter’s Song, I used existing tunes. Then, a number needed to be written specially for the musical. These include How Many Times?, There’s no other Name and Rescue from Prison.

Notes on the songs, including bible references

Follow, Follow

This song, based on Matthew 4:18-20 and which concluded The Jesus Story, was originally written for young people during my time as Youth Adviser for the Church Mission Society in the 1970s, and continues to be an inspiration for Christians today.

What Sort of Man?

This song, based on various passages in the Gospels, attempts to explain why Peter and the other disciples were so impressed by the personality of Jesus.

The Healing of Peter’s Mother-in-law

Based on Mark 1:30-31, this story of Peter’s mother-in-law being healed by Jesus and getting up to feed them is told in all three Synoptic Gospels: Matthew, Mark and Luke.

Confession of Faith

New words based on Matthew 16:13-19 for a tune originally written for a song expressing my faith during a testing time in my ministry.

Jesus Shines!

The words in Psalm 50:2 – God shines forth! – jumped out at me and inspired this song, based on Luke 9:28-36, about the Transfiguration of Jesus, when the glory of God enveloped Jesus and shone forth!

How Many Times? 

The humour of Christ is seen in many passages of the Gospels, however in this song, based on Matthew 18:21-22, I have created the humour!  I hope you will also see the serious side of the message Jesus gives here.

Foot washing at The Last Supper

This is based on Luke 22:24-27 and John 13:1-17.  Peter wasn’t ready to accept the Servanthood of Christ.  Followers of Jesus need to understand and accept that Christ the Saviour both serves us and encourages us to serve others.

Peter’s Denial

The account of Peter’s denial of Christ appears in all four Gospels and shows that Peter would never gloss over this humiliating episode in his life. This song is based on Matthew 26:69-75 and Luke 22:61-62.


It is essential that we know that Peter found a new life as he was forgiven by the risen Christ, and this is why this song, based on John 21:15-19 (NRSV), is included in the musical.

Peter’s Song

This song, based on Luke 22:62, John 20:1-2 and John 21:1-19, expresses the feelings of Peter after he had been forgiven by Jesus. It shows both the depression that failure can bring and the elation of being healed and forgiven.

Sing to the Lord

This song is based on Psalm 100 (GNB).  The psalms were written centuries before the birth of Jesus and still inspire our worship today.

And God said

Based on Genesis 1:1-3, Ezekiel 37:1-14, Luke 1:26-38 and Acts 2:1-11, this song, which includes a verse about the coming of the Holy Spirit at Pentecost, shows us that God is not passive but may intervene for the good of his people.

The Spirit of God

Based on Acts 2:1-3, Luke 12:11-12, John 14:25 and John 15:26, and Romans 8:26-27, this song shows us the range of the Holy Spirit’s ministry amongst us today.

There’s no other name

Only after I had finished writing this song, based on Acts 3:1-16 and Acts 4:1-12, did I realise that the chorus is indebted to the song There’ll always be an England so many thanks to the author!


This song is based on Acts 10:1-48. Luke, the author of the Acts of the Apostles, thinks this incident is so important that he repeats it in chapter 11.  It was a watershed moment for Peter when God made it quite clear that the Gospel of Christ was for all people.

Rescue from Prison

I find the picture of Peter left outside the door quite amusing and hence the emphasis in the song (based on Acts 12:1-19): I was knock, knock knocking.

A time to build

Based on Ecclesiastes 3:1-8 and Ephesians 2:11-18, this song was originally written for a Church Mission Society project in the 1970s called A Time to Build.  It aimed to support youth centres in Sudan and Northern Ireland.  Both countries were undergoing civil disturbance at the time.  Today things are much better in Northern Ireland, though sadly South Sudan is still suffering.

Come to the Lord

Based on 1 Peter 2:4-5, 9 (GNB), this song was first written for a song competition organised by the publishers of the British Version of the Good News Bible completed in 1976.  It didn’t win but the song remains one of my favourites.

Faith Tested

Based on 1 Peter 1:6-7, a song for the persecuted church which also brings challenge and comfort to us in our more stable environment.

Kingdom Road

This is based on various New Testament passages.  The song was originally written as the theme song for a Church Mission Society Conference in Newcastle called A1M.  After the conference the A1M chorus became redundant so the words were changed to Kingdom Road.  I hope you find this an uplifting and challenging song for us all.

Singing for Jesus

Based on various New Testament passages.  This song which is a joyful celebration of our faith in Christ was originally written for young people in Eastwood Parish Church where I was a curate in the 1970s.

(GNB is the translation of the bible called The Good News Bible)

(NRSV is the translation of the bible called The New Revised Standard Version)