Simon Peter, a servant and apostle of Jesus Christ,
To those who through the righteousness of our God and Savior Jesus Christ have received a faith as precious as ours:
2 Grace and peace be yours in abundance through the knowledge of God and of Jesus our Lord.
Servant and Apostle
It was quite common in the ancient world to take two names. Paul was also known as Saul. One name would be a Hebrew name and the other would be Greek. In this introduction Peter uses his Hebrew name and his Greek name. This indicates that he might be writing to a mixed audience scattered among the regions of the Ancient Near East. He emphasizes a heart of humble service and also of authoritative position. He calls himself both a servant and an apostle. Jesus emphasized that all leaders should be servants. However, he also emphasized that if a person is sent by him to preach the good news, that person goes with all Jesus’ authority (Mtt. 10). Peter combines service and authority.
In the teaching profession, Marzano writes about the importance of a teacher combining a high dominance of their classroom with a high cooperation. Many of my students care for the children they teach and want to be their friend, but then they lack the authority that brings success to the classroom. Other students dominate a classroom, but they do it out of fear or desire for control. These latter types do not connect well with the students. The key in communicating new information well is to love and care for the student whilst accepting the authority that knowledge of the content brings. Peter knows the content of his teaching well. He knows Christ.
the recipients of the letter are believers who have received grace. One important aspect of the opening is that it teaches that Jesus is God. The grace comes from our God Jesus Christ. Peter may not have had a developed Trinitarian doctrine, but he knew that Jesus was more than just a man.
As one develops a relationship one ‘knows’ and is ‘known’. Knowledge and relationship are profoundly connected. One reveals oneself in order to be known. The believer has the joy of knowing God more each day as God reveals himself. Relationships go sour when one person attempts to hide. They flourish when each person discloses their heart and their dreams.
Father, let me be a bold teacher who loves those he teaches. Let us stand firm in the truth of the revealed word you have given us. Let us carry the authority of your son. Let us also, though, impart grace and mercy in a world where darkness engulfs truth too quickly.
- Why does Peter use two names?
- What two titles does Peter give himself?
- How does Peter’s stance exemplify a god teaching stance?
- How are you to be a servant and an authority?
- What do you wish for those who learn from you?