One of the most common descriptions of God in the Bible is as our Shepherd. It’s a comforting metaphor, but what does it really mean? How is Jesus our Good Shepherd?
We all want as much personal autonomy as possible, which means that we often struggle with human authority. Peter acknowledges this struggle by discussing at length how Christians should respond to the authorities in our lives. He challenges us to follow the example of Jesus by not rebelling but instead submitting to human authority, while trusting in the ultimate authority of God.
How should Christians respond to government authority? Surprisingly, Peter challenges us to submit to governing authorities and to honour the king. That’s the opposite of what most of us want to do, especially in the midst of our current political environment. So why does he ask us to submit, and what does that look like? What if the government is corrupt or the leadership is evil? What then?
We don’t usually invest much in something we know is only temporary. Naturally, we want to invest our time and energy into things that we know will last. The challenge for Christians, who Peter calls we are just “temporary residents and foreigners” is to invest in what will last for eternity.
There is very little in life that we can accomplish by ourselves. But when a group of people are all committed to the same purpose, they’re able to do the impossible. If the church will collectively embrace a lifestyle of prayer, generosity, and mission, then God will do the impossible.