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In this passage, Peter is calling for us to be prepared in advance to share with anyone the reason for the hope inside of us. Part of this is to understand the role of adversity and how it ultimately works for our good, other’s good and God’s glory.
After Jesus rode triumphantly into Jerusalem on Palm Sunday, two Greeks, who were there to worship, set their wills to see Jesus. They found Philip, one of the disciples and said, “Sir, we wish to see Jesus.” This is the heart and mind of all true worshipers and seekers. Jesus’ response to this is interesting. He tells his disciples, “The hour has come for the Son of Man to be glorified.”
Scripture has much to say about marriage; some by teaching and some by example. Peter offers only a small slice of the whole, but it is rich in purpose and insight. Relationships, especially marriage, reveal our flaws and imperfections. The context of Peter’s letter is that all of our conduct is in and through the grace of God in Christ.
Peter is concerned with how we faithfully deal with authorities. Last week the context was
government. Next week it will apply to marriages. Sandwiched in between is how we respond in our work environment. Even if you are retired, there will be occasions to share wisdom with family members or neighbors who are in difficult work situations. The gospel really does apply to all areas of our lives.
Election years seem long with inescapable media coverage. Complex issues are reduced to sound bites and slogans. Mudslinging is common, demonizing others because it works. Peter offers us wisdom for faithfully relating to politics and government.
I imagine Peter, whose name means Rock, would have reflected on the imagery in the Psalms that describe God as a Rock. In this passage he quotes from Psalms, Isaiah (and Jesus), calling Christ a living stone and cornerstone. Through Christ, we are living stones with purpose.
Peter reflects on Psalm 34 and writes about tasting the goodness of the Lord. This poetic image helps us to see that God wants us to know and delight in Him in the deepest and most real way with all of our senses and with all of our heart, soul, mind and strength.
Everything about our bodies suggests we are made for action. We want to make sure that our actions are focused correctly so that we are living as faithful disciples of Jesus. In order to do this, we need to prepare our minds and be alert and ready, because our decisions direct our actions.
In the preceding verses, Peter talks about hope that is found in God and obtains salvation for our souls. He then focuses on how salvation was revealed through the scriptures. My aim is to have us connect salvation to God’s word; honor, respect and delight in God’s word; and know, study and obey God’s word. For in scripture we see the glory of Christ and God’s offer of grace, hope and joy. It is these things into which angels long to look!
We all need hope. Without hope we do not see purpose in life and are prone to just give up. Proverbs 13:12 beautifully expresses this, “Hope deferred makes the heart sick, but a desire fulfilled is a tree of life.” The message of the Bible is about hope, true hope which is found in God alone. When we feel dead inside, God’s living hope offers us newness of life and sustaining joy and abounding love. The message of 1 Peter is for us to be born again to a living hope.