June 25, 2021 – Friday
1 Peter 3:14 NIV
14 But even if you should suffer for what is right, you are blessed. “Do not fear their threats; do not be frightened.”
1 Peter 3:14 CJB
14 But even if you do suffer for being righteous, you are blessed! Moreover, don’t fear what they fear or be disturbed.
The first thing to be aware of is that the last part of this verse comes from Isaiah 8:12b, do not fear what they fear NIV or don’t fear what they fear CJB. What kind of suffering is Peter writing about here? As we read more of this epistle, we find he means all types of suffering up to and including death. He is not writing of it as something already happening, nor as something coming very soon, but as something that will occur. And because it will occur his readers need to be prepared for it.
As a side note it is curious to note Ellicott’s Commentary tells us in all St. Paul’s Epistles the word “to suffer” occurs but seven times, and nowhere twice in the same Epistle; whereas it comes twelve times in this one short Letter of St. Peter. (Underlining added.) Peter knows a time of suffering is coming. Perhaps this is a result of what Jesus said at the Sermon on the Mount in Matthew 5:10, Blessed are those who are persecuted because of righteousness, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven. That addresses the first part of the verse, but what of the latter part?
The end of our verse of the day is Do not fear their threats; do not be frightened NIV or Moreover, don’t fear what they fear or be disturbed CJB. If we go the following verse in Isaiah 8:13 we will find, The Lord Almighty is the one you are to regard as holy, He is the one you are to fear, He is the one you are to dread NIV or Adonai-Tzva’ot — consecrate him! Let Him be the object of your fear and awe! CJB. They do not fear God, they only fear the threats of what man can do. They do not consider eternity at all. Peter makes this point in the following verse 3:15, But in your hearts revere Christ as Lord. Always be prepared to give an answer to everyone who asks you to give the reason for the hope that you have. But do this with gentleness and respect.
Imagine that, when facing the possibility of suffering or even death we are to be prepared to share the good news of Jesus and what He has done for us AND for our enemies, those who would persecute us. Thus, we return to His Sermon on the Mount where He said Matthew 5:43-45a, You have heard that it was said, ‘Love your neighbor and hate your enemy.’ But I tell you, love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you, that you may be children of your Father in heaven. We need not fear or even hate because of our great blessings.
Prayer: Heavenly Father, Thank You for all of Your blessings, but most of all for Your Son Jesus who paid the price for all of my sins so that I am able to look forward to eternity in heaven. – In Jesus’ Name. Amen.