Focal Passage: 1 Peter 2:13-23
What comes to your mind when you hear the word, “submission?” Do you think “door mat?” Weakness? Loss of self? Does the description of “Christian” even pop into your mind? It should.
As Christ followers, we are called to a life of radical submission. After all, we follow the example of Jesus Christ, the King of Kings who emptied Himself and became obedient to death on a cross. He could have come to earth in power, prestige and luxury but instead came as a humble servant. Peter reminds the first-century Christians, who were facing persecution, of their calling. For the Lord’s sake, they should submit [or subject] themselves to every human institution (v. 13), including those that are practicing discrimination. Peter commands the believers to honor all men, love the brotherhood, fear God and honor the emperor (v. 17). He reinforces the need for submission again in verse 18, “Servants, be submissive to your masters with all respect.”
Peter also encourages Christ followers to endure any hardships that result from faithfully surrendering to those in authority. To patiently endure through suffering is commendable before God (v. 20) and brings Him glory. Christ set the example of patiently enduring through suffering (v. 21) and trusting God in every circumstance (v. 23). Jesus tells His disciples multiple times that a servant is not greater than his master, nor is a student above his teacher. Just like He humbled Himself and did not try to seek vengeance on those who were causing affliction, we too, must submit to others out of love for God.
The idea of submission in our culture is not a popular one. Our Savior set the example of denying self by surrendering to the will of the Father by laying down His life. He trusted the Father even unto death. Because He endured the cross, He triumphed over all powers and authorities and was given all authority in heaven and on earth.
How can you, as a Christ follower, exemplify the radical submission of your Savior this week?