1 Kefa 2:18-25

Submission of Slaves to Masters

In my last post, we explored A Call to Good Works. In this post, we learn about the Submission of Slaves to Masters.

This passage addresses household slaves, who often had more economic and social mobility than free peasants did, although most of them still did not have much. Field slaves on massive estates were more oppressed. Kefa’s advice to the household servants of 2000 years ago that they should bear up even under undeserved punishment can be applied, with the necessary changes, by today’s employees. In this, the Messiah serves as our example since He fulfills Isaiah’s prophecies concerning the suffering servant. The central such passage is Isaiah 52:13–53:12.

18 Household servants, submit yourselves to your masters, showing them full respect – and not only those who are kind and considerate, but also those who are harsh. 19 For it is a grace when someone because he is mindful of God, bears up under the pain of undeserved punishment. 20 For what credit is there in bearing up under a beating you deserve for doing something wrong? But if you bear up under punishment, even though you have done what is right, God looks on it with favor.

Except for those slaves who were able to save enough money on the side to buy their freedom (which many household slaves could do), slaves were not in a position to achieve freedom. Although slaves and masters cooperated in many households as members of a typical family, laws viewed slaves as property and people, and some owners abused them as property; nearly all owners treated them as socially inferior. [1]

21 Indeed, this is what you were called to; because the Messiah too suffered, on your behalf, leaving an example so that you should follow in His steps.

22 “He committed no sin,
nor was any deceit found on His lips.”

23 When He was insulted, He didn’t retaliate with insults; when He suffered, He didn’t threaten but handed them over to Him who judges justly.

One matter Kefa repeatedly addresses in this letter is how Believers should understand and respond to suffering. Though he will have much more to say on this, Kefa’s most important reminder is that we are called to suffer because Yeshua also suffered for us, giving us an example so we may follow in his steps. Yeshua is the perfect example of someone enduring unjust suffering since He alone is sinless. Rather than returning evil for evil, He entrusted Himself to the one who judges justly.

24 He himself bore our sins in His body on the stake, so that we might die to sins and live for righteousness – by His wounds you were healed. 25 For you used to be like sheep gone astray, but now you have turned to the Shepherd, who watches over you. ~ 1 Kefa 2:18-25.

We must also remember that Yeshua’s suffering was unique. He was more than a mere example. He suffered as our substitute to win our salvation. He himself bore our sins. Yeshua not only died because we are sinners (we all have a sinful nature), but He also died for every wrong we have committed or will commit: whether in thought, attitude, or action.

Why would He do that? So that, having died to sins, we might live for righteousness. Righteousness is the standard that God requires. If you are saved, Yeshua gave you the ability to turn sin off and turn righteousness on.

To quote Tony Evans, “The devil does not want you to know you can make such a switch and definitely does not want you to do it. But we can say “no” to sin and “yes” to righteousness: “no” to Satan’s agenda and “yes” to God’s.” [3]

We will learn about Wives and Husbands in 1 Kefa 3:1-7 in my next post.

Click here for the PDF version.

[1 ] The IVP Bible background commentary: New Testament
[2] Isaiah 53:9
[3]  The Tony Evans Bible Commentary.

3 thoughts on “1 Kefa 2:18-25

  1. Pingback: 1 Kefa 2:18-25 | Talmidimblogging

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