A Difficult Scripture

Two men boxing

The Apostle Peter traveled to Babylon in Iraq sometime around 60 AD. Babylon was a small town when Peter arrived. Accompanying Peter were Silas and (John) Mark.  (1 Peter 5:12-13)

In this small village Peter wrote his first book, with the help of Silas. We know the book was written by a person well educated in writing Greek. Peter was born and raised a fisherman, so he was fluent in spoken Greek. But unlike the Apostle Paul, Peter likely had limited Greek writing skills. This limitation is probably why Peter did a shout out to Silas in 1 Peter 5:12. Silas was well versed in writing Greek text.

Inspired by the Holy Spirit, Peter began writing his first book. With the emperor’s edict to kill the apostles of Jesus, he certainly felt the hot breath of Nero’s henchmen on his neck. So, Peter needed to condense all that he carried within him into a small but overflowing book. Peter was eventually captured and taken to a Roman prison and crucified, but not before he wrote his second book.

In Apostle Peter’s first book, we find a difficult scripture, 1 Peter 2:18-21 (ESV):

Servants [1], be subject to your masters with all respect, not only to the good and gentle but also to the unjust. For this is a gracious thing, when, mindful of God, one endures sorrows while suffering unjustly. For what credit is it if, when you sin and are beaten for it, you endure? But if when you do good and suffer for it you endure, this is a gracious thing in the sight of God. For to this you have been called, because Christ also suffered for you, leaving you an example, so that you might follow in his steps.

How is this good news?

In yesterday’s devotional, we read that we are to live our lives as sojourners and exiles. This world is not our home, and this life is not our future. Presently we are witnesses of Jesus to the hostile world around us. If even one person sees our lives and receives Jesus, that value is beyond measure.

If we are called to work for a difficult, demanding, unappreciative boss, then we need to fulfill our responsibilities with joy, diligence, and dedication for through these we glorify Jesus our Savior. That’s good news.

Let me hasten to add that this passage of Scripture is not referring to abusive personal relationships. If you are in an abusive relationship, seek help immediately.

[1] Barnes’ Notes on the Bible states: “Servants, be subject to your masters – The word here properly means “domestics” – those employed about a house, or living in the same house …These people might have been slaves, or might not.” 

Photo by Ivana Cajina on Unsplash

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