Peter was an amazing follower of Jesus. He had the type of one-on-one discipleship from Jesus that we all long for! He had opportunity after opportunity not only to learn, but to participate with the ongoing unfolding of the Kingdom of God. Peter is written about throughout the Gospels and he would himself go on to write the epistle we have studied over the past six weeks. Peter was certainly someone to esteem. Peter, writing to the churches spread across Asia Minor, had all the authority and clout to be able to address them as a superior, however, Peter today models a different posture.
“ . . . As a fellow elder, I appeal to you.”
In our power obsessed culture, we can be quick to use authority and/or power to solve our problems. One of the regular lines of parenting over the past century has been, “because I said so . . .”, roughly meaning, “I’m big, you’re small, so do what I say!” We see the use of authority play out in boardrooms and job sites, as those in positions of authority use power to move pieces of an organization. That is why Peter’s appeal seems so . . . out of place!
Peter, who had substantial authority, chose to approach fellow believers humbly (we’ll get to that in a few verses) with instructions intended for their own benefit. Peter reminds us of the posture in which Jesus came to earth. Jesus, the very Son of God, came in the humble form of an infant to walk out His new Kingdom, and submitted Himself to the Roman authorities to be crucified as a visceral reminder to us for all of eternity. Leaders lead through humility.
Are you a leader in any capacity? Do you lead others in business or school? Do you have children? God has given most of us some sort of authority, even if it is small or in an unofficial capacity. As you read today, consider the posture of how you lead. Is it out of authority and power, or is it with a posture of humility?
As a reminder, here are our steps for S.O.A.P.:
- Find a quiet place and read the SCRIPTURE of the day. Read it again. Read it slowly. Read it out loud!
- What OBSERVATIONS did you make? What does this passage teach you about God or yourself? Are there any calls to action? Do you have any questions?
- How will you make APPLICATION of this scripture and live your life differently today in light of what you just read? Be specific!
- Let it marinate. Take some time for PRAYER – thank God, confess any shortcomings, and ask to be empowered. Sit for a few moments and see if God has anything else for you.
Here is our passage for the day:
And now, a word to you who are elders in the churches. I, too, am an elder and a witness to the sufferings of Christ. And I, too, will share in his glory when he is revealed to the whole world. As a fellow elder, I appeal to you:1 Peter 5:1 (NLT)