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1 Peter 2:13-25: Unjust Suffering


Submit [2P 2 Aor Mid Impv hupotasso] to every human institution for the Lord's sake, whether to the king as supreme, 14or to governors as sent [Dat MS Pres Pass Part pempo] by him unto the punishment of evildoers and unto the praise of good-doers, 15for such is [3S Pres Act Indic eimi] the will of Goddoing good [Nom MP Pres Act Part agathopoieo] to silence [Pres Act Inf phimoo] the ignorance of foolish men, 16 as those who are free, and not as a cloak of evil having [Nom MS Pres Act Part echo] freedom, but as slaves of God. 17Honor [2P 1 Aor Act Impv timao] all. Love [2P Pres Act Impv agapao] the brotherhood. Fear [2P Pres Mid Impv phobeo] God. Honor [2P Pres Act Impv timao] the king.

The servants being subject [Nom MP Pres Mid Part hupotasso] to your masters in all fear, not only to the good and gentle, but also to the crooked.1 19For this is a gracious thing, if, through consciousness of God, someone patiently endures [3S Pres Act Indic hupophero] grief, suffering [Nom MS Pres Act Part pascho] unrighteously. 20For what sort of glory is it if sinning [Nom MP Pres Act Part hamartano] and mistreated [Nom MP Pres Pass Part kolaphizo] you will patiently endure [2P Fut Act Indic hupophero]? But if gooddoing [Nom MP Pres Act Part agathopoieo] and suffering [Nom MP Pres Act Part pascho] you will patiently endure [2P Fut Act Indic hupophero], this is a gracious thing with God. 21For to this you were called [2P 1 Aor Pass Indic kaleo], for also Christ suffered [3S 2 Aor Act Indic pascho] for us, leaving [Nom MS Pres Act Part hupolimpano] us an example, that you might follow after [2P 1 Aor Act Subj epakoloutheo] his steps, 22who sin did not do [3S 1 Aor Act Indic poieo], neither was found [3S 1 Aor Pass Indic heurisko] deceit in his mouth, 23who being reviled [Nom MS Pres Pass Part loidoreo] did not revile back [3S Impf Act Indic antiloidoreo]; suffering [Nom MS Pres Act Part pascho] did not threaten [3S Impf Act Indic apeileo], but handed over [3S Impf Act Indic paradidomi] to the one judging [Dat MS Pres Act Part krino] righteously; 24who our sins himself bore [3S 1 Aor Act Indic anaphero] in his body on the tree, that we, being dead [Nom MP 2 Aor Mid Part apoginomai] in sins, might live [1P 1 Aor Act Subj zao] to righteousness, by whose stripes you were healed [2P 1 Aor Pass Indic iaomai]. 25For you were [2P Impf Act Indic eimi] as sheep going astray [Nom MP Pres Mid Part planao], but now you have returned [2P 2 Aor Pass Indic epistrepho] unto the Shepherd and Overseer of your souls.

1 The word for crooked is skoliois, from which we get our word skoliosis, a curvature of the spine.

Comment: Peter turns from his sweeping, grand, glorious vision of the Church of Jesus Christ as a chosen race, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people for his own possession, that you may proclaim the excellencies of him who called you out of darkness into his marvelous light (1 Pet. 2:9), to address very practical, day-to-day questions of how Christians ought to live. Really, we might frame the question that Peter is trying to address in this way: If the Church is indeed God's people who has received mercy (2:10), the people chosen by God as a chosen race, royal priesthood, holy nation, and for God's own possession (2:9), then why should we pay any attention to human authorities at all? Or, we might look at 2:13-25 as Peter's insistence that the Church must absolutely be in the world, even if the Church is not of the world (2:1-12). Leaving aside for the moment those Christians who make no effort to live any differently from the world, the remainder of Christians seem to tend toward either one of two extremes in understanding who we are in this world. One group of Christians tend to over-emphasize our heavenliness, and the other group of Christians tend to over-emphasize our earthliness. The former group (I would probably include myself here) thrills over rich theology, loving to peer behind the curtain to gain a glimpse into the eternal work and purposes of the Sovereign Lord; yet, they find it difficult to see those purposes unfolded in the way they love their spouses or parent their children or do their jobs, and so they lose motivation to do such vitally important work. The latter group feels instinctively the need for practical instruction. They tire quickly of theory, observing that many who prattle on unendingly about theory never quite get around to doing the work on which they philosophize. Yet, this group has a tendency to go about their work and their relationships without much thought on how their work and their practices have any relevance whatsoever to the larger issues of Jesus Christ, his redemptive work, and his Lordship over all of creation. In this passage, Peter explains that our submission to every human institution, and even our unjust suffering under the most corrupt of these human institutions, follows the example (and motivation!) laid out by Christ himself. Moreover, Peter does this in a way that brings very practical instruction together with rich theology, seeing how our innocent suffering now is tied to the future judgment of him who judges justly (2:23). 2:13-17 You are NOT your own King: Lest we imagine that our heavenly citizenship voids any demands that our earthly citizenship might place upon us, Peter very clearly moves to command us to subject ourselves to human institutions:

Be subject for the Lord's sake to every human institution, whether it be to the emperor as supreme, 14or to governors as sent by him to punish those who do evil and to praise those who do good. Three points of emphasis to note here: (1) this command is for the Lord's sake; (2) we are commanded to be subject to every human institution; and (3) Peter hints at the purpose of government here being to punish those who do evil and to praise those who do good. Let's look at each of those points briefly.

First, this command is indeed for the Lord's sake. Peter does not suggest this as a means by which Christians can gain better social and political standing, or as generally good advice for how to live a good and comfortable life. This is a command with the full weight of God's authority behind itYHWH himself has ordained human institutions, and he sanctions their authority! Second, the nature of this command is that we subject ourselves to every human institution, and Peter illustrates this point by describing a range of authorities all the way from the supreme emperor to the local governors who ruled regions under the emperor's authority. We are not allowed to cherry-pick human institutions, obeying the ones we deem worthwhile, and ignoring the rest. We are commanded to give ourselves completely to the obedience and service of each and every human institution that God has ordained to rule over us. The huge question, then, is this: If we are to obey every human authority in the understanding that God has ordained each one of them, how do we account for unjust authorities? How do we understand and respond to tyrannical rulers and institutions that are founded in opposition to Christ and his church? Or, how do we obey our rulers when they ask us to disobey our God? Peter gives us a glimpse of the answer in our third observation regarding the purpose of human institutions. God has ordained human institutions to punish those who do evil and to praise those who do good. Governments are given for the purpose of creating and enforcing just laws, punishing those who run afoul of righteousness, and praising those who do good. In v. 15-16, Peter takes us a step closer to our answer:

For this is the will of God, that by doing good you should put to silence the ignorance of foolish people. 16Live as people who are free, not using your freedom as a cover-up for evil, but living as servants of God. The Christian's practical duty is to do good within their society. Even the freedoms we are given are to be leveraged not for evil, but for doing good by actively serving God. The logic here runs like this: 1. God instituted human authorities that they might facilitate good in human society. 2. God commands us to obey human authorities. 3. Therefore, God commands us to do good within human society. If we are honest, though, this logic doesn't completely answer our question. What are we to do when the government takes steps that do not promote good and punish evil? Indeed, Peter was himself martyred by the Roman emperor for his faith in Christshouldn't he feel the tension in what he is writing here? I am reminded a little of Spurgeon's famous comment about how he reconciles the paradoxical doctrines of God's sovereignty and our free will. In a sermon preached in 1859, Spurgeon said: Now, have I not answered these two questions honestly? I have endeavoured to give a scriptural reason for the dealings of God with man. He saves man by grace, and if men perish they perish justly by their own fault. How, says some one, do you reconcile these two doctrines? My dear brethren, I never reconcile two friends, never. These two doctrines are friends with one another; for they are both in Gods Word, and I shall not attempt to reconcile them. If you show me that they are enemies, then I will reconcile them. But, says one, there is a great deal of difficulty about them. Will you tell me what truth there is that has not difficulty about it? But, he says, I do not see it. Well, I do not ask you to see it; I ask you to believe it. There are many things in

Gods Word that are difficult, and that I cannot see, but they are there, and I believe them. I cannot see how God can be omnipotent and man be free; but it is so, and I believe it.2 There is a great degree of difficulty in understanding our relationship as Christians to the human institutions over us, and in understanding how we might reconcile our relationship to the government and our relationship to Christ. Peter tells us, though, that human institutions and God are friends, and that we never need to reconcile friends. Peter, in fact, is trying to adjust our attitude toward human institutions. Rather than looking at the human institutions that God has placed over us as enemies, we ought to look at the government as a friend and ally of God. God uses the government to regulate the great mass of human beings on this planet, and without such human institutions, there would be anarchy and chaos. We are not, therefore, called to withdraw further and further away from our government, but we are called to be the most eager to do good and to refrain from evil. In one sense, we are free from all human laws. Peter himself writes, Live as people who are free (2:16). Our allegiance is not ultimately to the flag of the United States of America, but to Jesus Christ, our true King. Yet, our King commands us to serve the king (or President, as the case may be) that he himself has appointed. Thus, when our governments command us to do what is wrong, we need to oppose decisions of our government, or to work to reform what our government is doing so that our human institutions might better punish those who do evil and praise those who do good. Peter, however, wants us first to see the ways in which Christians are not transported out of this world by their heavenly citizenship, but actually driven much deeper into the fabric of our societies. We should be the best citizens, not the worst. We should be the most involved citizens, not the most detached. Imagine the way you confront your spouse when he/she is in the wrong about something. You don't notice a slight fault and suddenly declare, This marriage is over! I want a divorce! (And if you do, we need to talk.) Rather, you recognize the need to speak the truth to your spouse while also recognizing the need to do so in love and grace. Yes, we ought to work to reform our human institutions, but we ought to do so with an attitude of love for an institution that has been ordained by God himself. More than that, when we obey the government for the purpose of doing good within our society, we silence the ignorance of foolish people. The world sees human institutions as their highest allegiances, and so they will naturally be suspicious of Christians who insist that we first pledge our allegiance not to our government, but to our God. And yet, Peter says, when we do good by obeying the laws of our society, we silence their ignorant criticism. When even our freedoms are utilized for the promotion of good, what is left to criticize? Calvin has a marvelous passage explaining how our freedom is given for the purpose of serving: For as men are naturally ingenious in laying hold on what may be for their advantage, many, at the commencement of the Gospel, thought themselves free to live only for themselves. This doting opinion, then, is what Peter corrects; and he briefly shews how much the liberty of Christians differed from unbridled licentiousness. And, in the first place, he denies that there is any veil or pretext for wickedness, by which he intimates, that there is no liberty given us to hurt our neighbors, or to do any harm to others. True liberty, then, is that which harms or injures no
2 Charles Spurgeon, Jacob and Esau, Sermon #239, Jan. 16, 1859, <>.

one. To confirm this, he declares that those are free who serve God. It is obvious, hence, to conclude, that we obtain liberty, in order that we may more promptly and more readily render obedience to God; for it is no other than a freedom from sin; and dominion is taken away from sin, that men may become obedient to righteousness. In short, it is a free servitude, and a serving freedom. For as we ought to be the servants of God, that we may enjoy this benefit, so moderation is required in the use of it. In this way, indeed, our consciences become free; but this prevents us not to serve God, who requires us also to be subject to men.3 C. S. Lewis famously argued for such an involvement in our earthly citizenships: Hope is one of the Theological virtues. This means that a continual looking forward to the eternal world is not (as some modern people think) a form of escapism or wishful thinking, but one of the things a Christian is meant to do. It does not mean that we are to leave the present world as it is. If you read history you will find that the Christians who did the most for the present world were just those who thought most of the next. The Apostles themselves, who set on foot the conversion of the Roman Empire, the great men who built up the Middle Ages, the English Evangelicals who abolished the Slave Trade, all left their mark on Earth, precisely because their minds were occupied with Heaven. It is since Christians have largely ceased to think of the other world that they have become so ineffective in this.4 Even, though, if our good conduct goes unnoticed, or is reviled, the point still standswe are to do good within our society because of God. Silencing ignorant people may happen (and it is a good thing when it happens, that they might begin to grow in awareness of the beauty of the gospel), but it is neither the guarantee nor the goal of this passage. Lenski writes: God wants us to do good irrespective of foolish men, for the highest kind of reasons in regard to himself as well as also to ourselves; it is only incidental, secondary, that his will is as it is, that by our doing good we muzzle the ignorance of foolish men who seek to find something base in our deeds and in their ignorance do not see that all baseness is lacking.5 Peter closes this section with four short commands:

Honor everyone. Love the brotherhood. Fear God. Honor the emperor.

In whatever spheres of influence we find ourselves, God calls us to be the best members we can possibly be. This is not for ourselves, nor even ultimately for the institutions, but for the sake of the Lord himself. And by being the best citizens we can bewhether that means joyfully obeying speed limits and zoning laws, or working to overturn abortion lawswe show honor to everyone (and especially the emperor), even as we do everything in an attitude of honor and respect. 2:18-23 You are NOT your own Judge: Peter moves beyond the larger, overarching human institutions in the sphere of government to the specific example of the relationships between masters and slaves. Must we submit even in such relationships, or does our Christian liberty allow us freedom from our masters? Peter gives a very direct answer to this
3 John Calvin, Commentaries on the Catholic Epistles <>. 4 C. S. Lewis, Mere Christianity (New York: HarperCollins, 2001), 134. 5 R.C.H. Lenski, The interpretation of the Epistles of St. Peter, St. John and St. Jude (Minneapolis: Augsburg, 1966), 112.

question, but it is important to understand that his answer flows out of his more general principle that we ought to submit ourselves to every human institutionthe master/slave relationship is one such example of the broader group of human institutions. Before we look at Peter's explanation, however, three quick points about masters and slaves bear mentioning: 1. Although some slavery in the ancient world was brought about through violent human trafficking, slavery typically happened for economic reasons. (A modern example might be someone taking a second job to pay off a credit card debt.) 2. Although some slaves were abused, many were treated quite well and enjoyed significant social standing as the servants of prominent families. Slavery was not seen as much as a forceful, violent, imposition on helpless peoples, but almost as a kind of career path. 3. Peter's comments about slavery should be taken neither as justification for all slavery everywhere (as they were taken in the 19th century in America and Britain before slavery was abolished), nor as completely irrelevant, outdated, or chauvinistic. Peter was speaking into the social structures of the day, and his words bear significance (for example) in our modern employee/employer relationships. Peter, then, continues his insistence on submitting to human institutions (here in the form of masters), but he takes his command to the next level:

Servants, be subject to your masters with all respect, not only to the good and gentle but also to the unjust. 19For this is a gracious thing, when, mindful of God, one endures sorrows while suffering unjustly. 20For what credit is it if, when you sin and are beaten for it, you endure? But if you when you do good and suffer for it you endure, this is a gracious thing in the sight of God. Peter insists that slaves be subject to their masters with all respect; however, he is very specific that he does not believe that their subjectivity should be based on reciprocal respect demonstrated by the masters. (This does not mean that he doesn't think that masters should care for their slaves, but rather that he is speaking specifically to slaves, from their perspective, at this point in time.) Instead, Peter urges slaves to submit to their masters with all respect, even when their masters are unjust. Such a notion is almost abhorrent to us. We are (rightly) sensitive to the exploitation of African slaves only 150 years ago in this very country, as well as to the struggle for equality and civil rights from African-Americans and other minority groups. To suggest that the oppressed should just deal with their oppression seems cruel and insensitive. But what we must grasp here is that Peter is not speaking from a sense of propriety (It simply isn't proper for a slave to resist his master!), nor from a position of bigotry (How could you imagine yourself to be on equal footing with your master?), but from an understanding of eternal economics. Peter isn't advocating that the poor and weak just shut up and take it, but that they endure any unjust suffering with an eye on eternity. Peter insists that God takes notice when his children suffer unjustly. Peter says twice that it is a gracious thing in the sight of God when we patiently endure suffering mindful of God. If we willingly endure because we entrust ourselves to him who judges justly (2:23), it is a gracious thing in God's sight. The word translated a gracious thing by the ESV is charis, the word sometimes translated in the NT as gift or grace. The expression in v. 20 is helpful to define the context of this charis in Peter's usage here; he states that, if we endure when we do good, yet still suffer, it is a gracious thing with God (touto

charis para theo). This is a use of para with a dative. Of our exegetical choices in such a grammatical construction, Wallace explains: In general, the dative uses suggest proximity or nearness. a. Spatial: near, beside b. Sphere: in the sight of, before (someone) c. Association: with (someone/something) d. Virtually equivalent to simple dative6 Probably we should classify this as a use of para + dative that refers to the sphere of the charisthat is, that the charis happens before God. When we patiently endure through innocent suffering, such charis takes place in the sight of God. As to the meaning of charis, its use varies somewhat widely through the New Testament. Probably the two best options have to do with whether this charis refers to a reward we receive for patient endurance, or whether this charis is God's enabling us to patiently endure. The meaning of charis in Luke often sometimes has to do with reward: In the few places where Lk. Introduces the concept of grace into Jesus' words it means reward in the last day, payment for something taken as a matter of course (Lk. 6:32-34; cf. Matt. 5:46; Lk. 17:9), and means almost the opposite to its basic meaning.7 Regarding the specific use in 1 Peter 2, Esser writes: Grace also permits the endurance of undeserved suffering to be understood as approved by God (2:19 f.; cf. also 5:10).8 It seems to me that the best way to understand Peter's use of charis is as having to do with all the following points: 1. This charis is something God gives us which permits the endurance of undeserved suffering. 2. This charis is also something whereby God approves of our suffering (as the charis from #1 has been played out in his sight), and is pleased with our conduct in suffering innocently. 3. Finally, this charis points forward to the Last Judgment, where God will pronounce his final approval of our conduct before the living and the dead who come to be judged. The doctrine of God's grace is that it both equips and rewards the conduct that God requires of us. Our heavenly Father is so gracious that he grants us the perseverance to endure through the most unjust of suffering, but that he then turns around to praise our obedience. This is a picture of a Father who profusely thanks his child for a gift that the child bought with the Father's own money! Lenski explains it more narrowly along the lines of (2) above. He writes: The motive that should prompt slaves to be subject to even perverse masters is shown by pointing to what this means for them in regard to God, which also comforts and cheers them in their trying
6 Daniel B. Wallace, Greek Grammar Beyond the Basics (Grand Rapids: Zondervan, 1996), 378. 7 H.-H. Esser, Grace, Spiritual Gifts, in The New International Dictionary of New Testament Theology, ed. Colin Brown, vol. 2 (Grand Rapids: Zondervan, 1976), 118. 8 H.-H. Esser, Grace, Spiritual Gifts, in The New International Dictionary of New Testament Theology, ed. Colin Brown, vol. 2 (Grand Rapids: Zondervan, 1976), 123.

position. The if clause is in apposition to this, and charis == favor (not thankworthy or thank, A. V. and margin; not acceptable R. V.). The action described in the if clause assures the Christian slave of God's favor.9 In v. 21, Peter drops a bombshell:

For to this you have been called, because Christ also suffered for you...

We have been called to suffer unjustly?! God's calling on our life is that we should endure patiently the suffering of unjust human institutions? Naturally, this evokes emotions ranging from fear to outrage. Why would a loving God call us to sufferespecially to suffer unjustly? So Peter continues on to demonstrate that our suffering merely follows in the footsteps of the One whom we call Lord:

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. 22He committed no sin, neither was deceit found in hit mouth. 23When he was reviled, he did not revile in return; when he suffered, he did not threaten, but continued entrusting himself to him who judges justly. 24He himself bore our sins in his body on the tree, that we might die to sin and live to righteousness. By his wounds you have been healed. 25For you were straying like sheep, but have now returned to the Shepherd and Overseer of your souls. Peter explains that Christ's suffering out to serve as an example to us, so that you might follow in his steps. Jesus is the pioneer, blazing the trailand the path he chose crosses through the Valley of the Shadow of Death. Because Jesus suffered, suffering is at the heart of Christianity. There is no Christianity apart from suffering. As Jesus himself reminded us, the servant is not greater than the master: If the world hates you, know that it has hated me before it hated you. If you were of the world, the world would love you as its own; but because you are not of the world, but I chose you out of the world, therefore the world hates you. Remember the word that I said to you: A servant is not greater than his master. If they persecuted me, they will also persecute you. If they kept my word, they will also keep yours. But all these things they will do to you on account of my name, because they do not know him who sent me. (John 15:18-21) So what is the example that Jesus set that we ought to follow? Peter names several factors in Jesus' patient endurance of his own innocent suffering: 1. He was completely innocent of the crimes he was charged with: He committed no sin, neither was deceit found in his mouth (2:22). 2. He completely refrained from fighting back at all: When he was reviled, he did not revile in return; when he suffered, he did not threaten (2:23). 3. He walked through the entire situation by faith, entrusting the situation to God: [he] continued handing over to him who judges justly (2:23). John Piper helpfully points out that the common translation in v. 23 that he entrusted himself to him who judges justly is not correctthe addition of himself is not found in the original text.10 To insert the
9 R.C.H. Lenski, The interpretation of the Epistles of St. Peter, St. John and St. Jude (Minneapolis: Augsburg, 1966), 116. 10 John Piper, He Trusted to Him Who Judges Justly, August 25, 1991, <>.

himself narrows the focus of the text to Jesus' handing over of himself to God; however, the broader application is that Jesus was handing over the entire situation to God. Not only did Jesus entrust his vindication to his Father, but he also entrusted the vengeance against his enemies to his Father! The example Jesus sets for us is not only innocence as the cause of our unjust suffering and innocence in our response to unjust suffering, but also a kind of faith that particularly expects God to judge the one who causes us to suffer unjustly. Whether at the cross or in hell, God promises judgment, and for us to resist issuing our own judgment both mindful of God (2:19) and handing over to him who judges justly (2:23) is a miraculous act of faith. 2:24-25 You are NOT your own Priest: This isn't following Jesus as a mere example, as though we could reduce Jesus to a role model or an inspiring story. When we patiently endure innocent suffering, we cling to the promises onto which Jesus himself clung to when he went to the crossnamely, that if when you do good and suffer for it you endure, this is a gracious thing in the sight of God (v. 20). We believe that there is a reward in entrusting the situation to him who judges justly because Jesus himself has carved out a reward for us in his own flesh. The theology of this passage does not merely reference the work that Jesus accomplished at the cross; it depends on it. We are holding in faith to the belief that Jesus accomplished something for us in his innocent, unjust suffering on the cross. Peter goes on to write:

He himself bore our sins in his body on the tree, that we might die to sin and live to righteousness. By his wounds you have been healed. 25For you were straying like sheep, but have now returned to the Shepherd and Overseer of your souls. A priest is someone who has actually been commissioned to deal with sin. For this reason, I am a pastor, and not a priestI cannot actually deal with your sin. All believers are called to the priestly duty of intercessory prayer for others (1 Pet 2:9we are a royal priesthood), but no longer do priests exist as they did in the Old Testament, where they actually offered sacrifices to atone for the sins of the people. The reason that priests no longer exist is that the Old Testament priesthood was found to be weak and ineffective. The priests themselves had sins, so they had to offer sacrifices constantly for themselves before they could offer sacrifices for other. Also, the blood of bulls, goats, and lambs could never actually take away sinthe entire Old Testament sacrificial system pointed forward to the blood of our High Priest, Jesus Christ. He is the one who can deal with our sins, and no one else can even begin to do so. Because he was innocent, he qualified to bear the sins of othersyou and mein his own body on the tree. Because he bore our sins, he offers us to die to our sins in him and to live to righteousness in him. By his wounds, we have been healed of our sin and death, and have been given life and righteousness in their place. We, who were straying like sheep, have now been returned to the Shepherd and Overseer of our souls. Lenski hammers this point, writing: The example of Christ will be of no avail unless we note his expiation of our sins, get free of them through him, get into the new life, and so live in the true righteousness and patiently endure, like Christ, what men inflict upon us. Peter is not a moralist, he preaches the full gospel of

expiation, substitution, and regeneration: he the One who his own self carried up our sins in his body up on the wood in order that, etc.11 And all this because Christ suffered innocently for us. The reason, though, that Peter brings this up at the very end here is twofold:

1. Peter wants to remind us of the gospel, that Christ bore our sins in his body. He died, being punished in our place for our sins, that we might live to righteousness. 2. Peter knows that the heart of our desire to be our own kings and judges stems from our desire to be our own priests. Because we think that we have it all together, and that we are fully capable of saving ourselves (serving as our own priests), we also believe that we can set our own agendas and establish our own justice. Therefore, it is fascinating that the priestly work of Jesus accomplishes returning us to the Shepherd and Overseer of your souls. When we submit to the priestly work of Jesus, we return under authority. And this is where it all comes together, because in v. 25 we see a glimpse into the reason behind Jesus' sending us into the world to submit to the authorities in the worldnamely, it is part of our discipleship. To paraphrase 1 John 4:20, if we cannot submit to the authorities whom we can see, how will we submit to the authority of Jesus Christ, whom we cannot see? King Jesus sets us under authorities so that we might learn how to submit to him.

11 R.C.H. Lenski, The interpretation of the Epistles of St. Peter, St. John and St. Jude (Minneapolis: Augsburg, 1966), 122.