Chapter # 2 Paragraph # 4 Study # 3
January 10, 2010
19 For this is thankworthy, if a man for conscience toward God endure grief, suffering wrongfully.
20 For what glory is it, if, when ye be buffeted for your faults, ye shall take it patiently? but if, when ye do well, and suffer for it, ye take it patiently, this is acceptable with God.
21 For even hereunto were ye called: because Christ also suffered for us, leaving us an example, that ye should follow his steps:
22 Who did no sin, neither was guile found in his mouth:
23 Who, when he was reviled, reviled not again; when he suffered, he threatened not; but committed himself to him that judgeth righteously:
24 Who his own self bare our sins in his own body on the tree, that we, being dead to sins, should live unto righteousness: by whose stripes ye were healed.
25 For ye were as sheep going astray; but are now returned unto the Shepherd and Bishop of your souls.
1901 ASV Translation:
19 For this is acceptable, if for conscience toward God a man endureth griefs, suffering wrongfully.
20 For what glory is it, if, when ye sin, and are buffeted for it, ye shall take it patiently? but if, when ye do well, and suffer for it, ye shall take it patiently, this is acceptable with God.
21 For hereunto were ye called: because Christ also suffered for you, leaving you an example, that ye should follow his steps:
22 who did no sin, neither was guile found in his mouth:
23 who, when he was reviled, reviled not again; when he suffered threatened not; but committed himself to him that judgeth righteously:
24 who his own self bare our sins in his body upon the tree, that we, having died unto sins, might live unto righteousness; by whose stripes ye were healed.
25 For ye were going astray like sheep; but are now returned unto the Shepherd and Bishop of your souls.
- I. Peter's Move Into the Particulars.
- A. He specifically addresses the "household servants".
- B. He also specifically outlines the "relationship": the "service" is rendered to a "master".
- C. He is without hesitation in his "command": be in submission.
- D. He also gives the parameters.
- 1. Not only to the good and gentle ...
- 2. But also to the "froward" ...
- E. Peter's Rationale.
- 1. There is a preference in Peter's mind for those who must suffer wrongfully. He defines "wrongfully" as a matter of injustice. This is Peter's version of Jesus' "take up your cross daily" qualification in Luke 9:23.
- a. Peter's "theme" is "the true grace of God" (5:12). On this basis, his major interest is the practical manifestation of that grace. Given that, it is no wonder that he highlights "suffering wrongfully" as a "grace" opportunity.
- b. Christianity that does not "work" in the daily trenches is of no use whatsoever. The blase dismissal of biblical truth throughout the daily events is totally unacceptable and will not be accepted by God at all.
- c. The "difficulty" Peter is addressing is the blindness of those "servants" who, because of the demeanor of their "despots" (masters), refuse to be submissive. For those servants who are tempted by the kindness of their masters to abuse the kindness, Peter commands submission because it is "right", and for those who are tempted by the "frowardness" of their masters to retaliate by insubordination, Peter commands submission because that state of affairs gives the greatest opportunity to show "grace". After all, "grace" cannot be seen in a "perfect love" relationship; it can only be seen in an "abusive" one.
- 2. The basis for the "injustice" is the behavior of the servant as an expression of a legitimate conscience before God. The implication is very strong that a "froward" master will sometimes demand behavior that cannot be legitimately obeyed and, thus, brings the wrath of the master down upon the servant.
- F. Peter's "Theology".
- 1. God's "servant nature" is Peter's highest understanding of God. He is supposed to be the one behind Mark's Gospel and that Gospel is the presentation of God, the Servant of God.
- 2. For people who have cut their eye teeth on the principles of rebellion cloaked in self-justification ("give me liberty or give me death" because "all men have certain inalienable rights"), it is pretty much of an impossibility to actually buy into the fact that being a "servant" is not a terrible thing. The only people for whom servitude is a terrible thing are those who long to be the controllers of the world. Those who wish to be the instruments of "grace" see servitude as an opportunity to maximize their usefulness.