The book of 1st Peter gives us a glimpse of who Jesus is in the New Testament (N.T).
While the book of James informs us about the end state of persecution avering that persecution produces patience and patience results in perfection; a character and conduct that is beyond reproach like that of Jesus Christ, 1st Peter establishes the fact that “Suffering is to be expected; It is a given”. It likens the devil to be like that of a roaring lion, seeking whom he may devour, and likens persecution to be like that of a kin (a relative), counseling us that we must not consider it to be strange when fiery trials try you.
1st Peter teaches us about the process to adopt as one has to deal with persecution/suffering. There are primarily two ways that we can respond. We can either submit or we can struggle. While, submission to God results in growth, struggling and strife results in grumbling.
The book covers five-fold submission that we need to follow.
- Citizens to the Government (King/Lord)
- Servant to Master
- Wife to Husband
- Husband to Wife
- Christians to one another
Let us look this five-fold submission briefly as we delve into the Scripture to see who Christ is in the Scripture in the book of 1st Peter.
- SUBMISSION MODEL: Citizens to the Government (King/Lord)
Where is our Citizenship? Our citizenship is in heaven (Philippians 3:20)
Who is the Governor then? For unto us a child is born, unto us a Son is given and His name shall be called Wonderful, Counselor, the mighty God, the everlasting Father, the Prince of Peace and the Government shall be upon his shoulders and of the increase of His government and peace, there shall be no end. (Isaiah 9:6-7). Jesus Christ is the Governor.We need to submit to His authority and not refuse Him or rebel against Him.
What happens to those who rebel against the Governor?
They are tried for treason and branded as traitors and are usually punished. Those who reject Jesus Christ, are reserved unto Judgment is what the Bible teaches us. Jesus Christ is Governor, He is Lord.
- SUBMISSION MODEL: Servant to Master
Not only is Jesus Lord, He is also the Master. In fact, Jesus tells his disciples, as recorded in John 13:13-14; you call me Master and Lord and ye say well, if I then your Lord and Master have washed your feet, ye also ought to do likewise.
Did you notice the purposeful reversal? They called Him Master and Lord, but He purposefully reversed the order when He said, if I then your Lord first and then Master. Jesus is Lord first (to be worshipped) and then Master (to be served).When the devil tried to tempt Jesus Christ and asked him to fall down and worship him, Jesus replied that “Only the Lord your God must thou worship and serve”. (Matthew 4:9-10) See the devil asked the Lord Jesus Christ only to worship him, not serve him, but Jesus put both worship and service together. We cannot worship God without serving Him and we cannot serve God without worshipping Him. Worship and service are two sides of the same coin; inseparable.We must submit as citizens to the Lord in worship and as servants to the Master in service so that when we face Jesus Christ, the MASTER face to face, He will be able to give us the highest accolade one can ever receive, which is “Well done, my good and faithful servant”.
- SUBMISSION MODEL: Wife to Husband and
- SUBMISSION MODEL: Husband to Wife
The submission of a wife to a husband and a husband to a wife is practically possible only when both submit to the Lord. The Bible says that a threefold cord is not quickly broken (Ecclesiastes 4:12).Cliff Richards the singer aptly sang this
You and me and Jesus, Jesus me and you,
On our own, we’d break, with Him, we will make it through
Jesus, take us make us, what you want us both to be
I give myself to her, She gives herself to me.
We must submit to our spouse, sacrificially with full of Love.
- SUBMISSION MODEL : Christians to one another
In other words, we acknowledge each member of the body for which Christ Jesus is the Head, and in humility, considering the other to be better, we submit without conceit or vain glory, being united in Christ, forgiving each other and giving for each other, and serving all saints.
So we have seen so far, Jesus Christ is the Governor (Lord), the Master, the bonding agent of marital relationships, and the Head of the Church. But there is more. In 1st Peter, Jesus is
- the sinless one (2:22)
- the submissive one (2:23)
- the shouldering one (2:23) who bore our sins
- the substituting one (2:24) who gave us life freely instead of the death we deserved
- the stripped one (2:24) so that we may be clothed in righteousness
- the Chief Shepherd (2:25) that brings his straying sheep back into his fold
- the soul bishop (2:25) or the overseer of our souls
And in the book that talks so much about suffering, we see that Jesus is the example, the role model of suffering (2:21). He suffered because He humbly submitted Himself to God saying, “Your will be done.”
Jesus was chosen to suffer (Isaiah 53) but we are called to suffer (4:16) and when we suffer, let us respond by submitting to the Lordship of Christ and asking for His will to be done in our lives.
In 1st Peter, Jesus Christ is the Governor Lord, the Master, the Bonding agent of marital relationships, the Head of the Church and the Suffering servant.