In the previous blog, we saw Peter’s loving approach to the Jews exiled from their homeland by Rome. He pointed out that, even though the Jews did not acknowledge Jesus in about 60 AD, they actually believe in him through their ancient prophets. So not only do they believe in Jesus, they love him and are working toward the true outcome of their faith – the appearance of the Christ in the last days, bringing to them directly the salvation of their souls. Peter continues:
“Concerning this salvation, the prophets who prophesied about the grace that was to be yours searched and inquired carefully, inquiring what person or time the Spirit of Christ in them was indicating when he predicted the sufferings of Christ and the subsequent glories” (1 Pet 1:10-11).
The prophets fully believed in the Messiah, the Son of God, but did not know the timing of his appearance. But God told them in their diligent search for knowledge of the “what” that was going to happen, but not the “when.”
“It was revealed to them that they were serving not themselves but you, in the things that have now been announced to you through those who preached the good news to you by the Holy Spirit sent from heaven, things into which angels long to look” (1 Pet 1:12).
So the Jews who rejected Jesus, despite the power of the Holy Spirit at Pentecost, announced by common men (the apostles) speaking foreign languages perfectly without actual knowledge, missed the message their own prophets had advised them of in advance – hundreds of years in advance!
Peter’s mission in this letter, then, is to convince the Jews of the dispersion that even though they rejected Jesus at Pentecost and beyond, the stage has been set for them to come home to their prophet-promised Savior.
This is worth pondering in our current days that seem to be getting darker and darker. And I marvel that this blog ended up getting published on the 20th anniversary of the attack on the World Trade Center in New York City in 2001 (I was there that day). We face different enemies now, but the message remains the same as much of our culture continues to reject Christ.
We are now the ones Peter is equipping for action, not the dispersed Jews. In fact, we are closer to the Jewish people than any other non-Christian faith, an asset that we should appreciate deeply in the coming times, such that we love them and they love us consistent with the prophecies of old.
Ponder this until next time, when we find that we are all called to be holy – together – in perfect unity!