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Thursday, December 26, 2013

Context

Over the years I have memorized a lot of verses in the Bible.  Some I can no longer recall perfectly, but I generally know what they say and where they are.  A lot of those verses were memorized singly, that is without much, if any, regard for the context.  Two of those verses are 1 Peter 5:7, 8.
Our favorite verses may take on a different meaning if we take a look at their context.  Thoughts at DTTB.
I mentioned earlier that I am in a study with some men on Tuesday morning and we are working through 1 Peter.  This evening I was looking over 1 Peter 5.  I noticed the context of those verses.  It is interesting and challenging to me on a number of fronts.

The context of 1 Peter 5 is Peter’s exhortation to the leaders of the body.  He tells them that they are to engage in the work of leading the body with humility, voluntarily, and not for personal monetary gain.  He then turns to the younger leaders and instructs them to submit to the older leaders.  He tells all that they are to be humble toward one another.  The interesting thing to me is that verse 7 is the last half of the sentence that starts in verse 6.  It seems that Peter is acknowledging that submission and humility toward one another can produce anxiety in those submitting with humility.  It is the case that I find that to be true in my experience.

Submitting to other’s leadership is risky.  Approaching leaders with humility is risky.  It cedes control to them at some significant level.  Peter’s exhortation to cast that anxiety on Christ is instructive.  Christ was both submissive and humble toward the leadership of the Jews.  The exhortation seems to be that in our submission and humility our ultimate trust, like Christ’s is in God, not in the leadership.

That does not make the assignment easier.  It just changes the playing field.

I will address verse 8 tomorrow.

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