Day 31 // Unreasonable demands

March 18, 2013

Pretend you’re one of the original recipients of today’s reading.  Speaking of…

Today, we’ll read pages 351-358 from 1 Peter.

So you get this letter from the apostle Peter.  Keep in mind that you, like Peter, are suffering intense persecution.  Peter calls it a “fiery ordeal” and says it’s somehow connected to Christ’s own suffering. (See page 357.)

But get this: Peter tells you to “submit yourselves” to the authorities – to the very people who are persecuting you. (See page 355.)  That includes the emperor, who happens to be a guy named Nero, who was famous for using Christians as torches.

Peter actually says to honor Nero.

Why make such a seemingly unreasonable demand? Maybe it has something to do with the fact that Peter calls us a “royal priesthood.” (See page 355.)  After all, what is a priest but a person who points the way to God?

In other words, we don’t submit for the sake of being bullied.  According to Peter, we submit “for the Lord’s sake.”  We “repay evil with blessing” so that others have no choice but to recognize God’s work in us.

It’s kind of like when Paul admonished the Romans to “overcome evil with good.” (See page 183.)

As you read 1 Peter, ask yourself:  What does it look like to overcome evil with good in my life today?

Pages 351 – 358 from 1 Peter

Peter, an apostle of Jesus Christ,

To God’s elect, exiles scattered throughout the provinces of Pontus, Galatia, Cappadocia, Asia and Bithynia, who have been chosen according to the fore knowledge of God the Father, through the sanctifying work of the Spirit, to be obedient to Jesus Christ and sprinkled with his blood:

Grace and peace be yours in abundance.

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