1 Peter 2:11-25 Category: Religion and Philosophy
11. Beloved, I implore you as aliens and strangers and exiles (in this world) to abstain from the sensual urges (the evil desires, the passions of the flesh, your lower nature) that wage war against the soul.
This makes me think of sitting around the campfire with the youth group (at Arlie and Gail's) singing "We are strangers...we are aliens....we are not...of...this world." It made me smile at the time....but it's true. Problems start when we begin to put too much stock in the systems of the world....which as Watchman Nee in his book, "Love not the World" reminds us, are all fading away. They are temporary. Verses like this tend to put things in proper perspective. Remind us to look up....
Verses 12 -17 talk about how to behave ourselves as aliens. Giving respect for authorities and living as exemplary citizens even while knowing we have a higher citizenship. It is easy to think, "This is not taking into consideration, the society we now have and the corruption of leadership..." but in fact it is most likely that Nero was in power at the time this was written. That tells us something. I do think it should be held in balance with verses like Heb. 11:23 where Moses' parents are commended for concealing their baby because, "they were not overawed and terrified by the King's decree." Then there is the example of people like Corrie Ten Boom who became part of the underground....and even Deitrick Bonhoffer....implicated in an assasination plot against Hitler. There are many questions that this could arouse about practical applications, so my idea is that somewhere in there we must deal Christianly within the evil empire without becoming cog in the wheel of evil ourselves. Is there a way to be salt...to season and preserve?....or light.....to expose...then I think that's our part....(but maybe not throwing a pie in the PM's face...haha)
The next bit is to household servants....all employees probably. But I think we can all relate to the bit about unjust suffering. V 20-21 indicates that we should expect to suffer unjustly, and if we bear it patiently....it is acceptable and pleasing to God. V 21-23 speaks of the suffering of Christ for our guilt and how it doesn't mean that He suffered INSTEAD of us...but left us an example so that we should suffer like He did. "He made no threats (of vengeance;) but He trusted Himself and everything to Him Who judges fairly." (v23) When it speaks of Him "bearing our sins" (v24) I think it relates to v 23 where we are told to "bear patiently with suffering."
Your children can make choices which you have to adjust your life around if you want to have relationship. For example, you might have to visit them behind prison bars....rather than being invited over to their house for Sunday dinner... it might be different than you had hoped for, but you take relationship on the available terms. (not my children....of them I am well pleased...thrilled even.)
Other people effect our freedoms.....Osama Bin Laden....we all bear the consequenses of his actions in terms of diminished freedoms....getting frisked at the airport....our hairspray and nailfiles confiscated. There might be some truth to the statement of J. Sartre, "Hell is other people..." I'll probably get nailed for quoting that old athiest in my little Bible commentary....haha....because we all know it is our duty to love people like our Father does. Maybe that's the whole idea though....some are easy to love....and some we have to be able to bear their sins in order to love them. V. 24 says that He bore our sins "that we might die (cease to exist) to sin and live to righteousness." I wish I had a really good understanding of this whole issue...I don't...but I think there's more to it than I once understood...if indeed I ever did.