Be subject for the Lord’s sake to every human institution, whether it be to the emperor as supreme, or to governors as sent by him to punish those who do evil and to praise those who do good. Comment: This is very good advice. The author Peter did not always accept his own instruction fully. He wasn’t fickle about it but when it came to a command from an official to deny God’s law or disobey His clear instructions both Peter and John disobeyed instructions from a human authority.
For this is the will of God, that by doing good you should put to silence the ignorance of foolish people. Live as people who are free, not using your freedom as a cover-up for evil, but living as servants of God. Honour everyone. Love the brotherhood. Fear God. Honour the emperor.
Comment: God wants an ordered, peaceful society but has placed much authority in human hands. There are some very ignorant, foolish people who need good examples to follow. Christian freedom is freedom to do God’s will not freedom to do evil.
- Respect everyone
- Love your brothers and sisters in your common faith in Jesus.
- God is awesome and to be fear in a healthy way.
- Respect authority.
Servants, 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.
Comment: Many Christians were either workers or many were slaves. Slaves could not resign and look for another job. If their masters were Christians then they should have treated their slaves well as is emphasised in a similar passage in Ephesians. But many masters were not fellow believers. So the ‘servants’ are told to do what most unbelievers think is foolish. Grin and bear your unjust beatings. Follow in the footsteps of Jesus who has been through all such treatment before and that for our sakes. Bear it for His sake.
Prayer: Sometimes walking the narrow path is hard, my Lord. Help me to stay on Your way for me, please.