5/2/2023 7:09:32 PM
April 30, 2023
Fourth Sunday of Easter (Good Shepherd Sunday)
Sermon Text: 1 Peter 2:19-25
Other Readings: Acts 2:42-47 and John 10:1-10
- Free people in the First Century often did not consider slaves to be capable of making moral decisions. That is, they were closer to ignorant animals than conscientious humans. Peter treats them differently. What are clues that Peter treats them more honorably than society.
- Do Peter’s words to slaves mean that Christians can in no way speak out against injustice and that they cannot do anything to oppose it?
- Notice the quotation marks from verse 22 through verse 25. What part of the Old Testament is Peter quoting from and alluding to?
- Peter made sure to call Jesus the Shepherd of souls. Why do you think he made sure to add “Shepherd… of your souls”?
- Think of a Christian you know or Christians within a part of society that often suffer and may be victims of especially unjust suffering because of their faith. Say a prayer for them that their Good Shepherd Jesus take care of them.
- First, in the way that Peter addresses them and encourages them he assumes that they do have “moral agency” to make conscientious decisions in the way they react to their masters. Secondly, Peter calls attention to the injustices of their suffering; many thought it was impossible to do an injustice to a slave. In these ways, Peter treats them as equals, namely, brothers and sisters in Christ.
- Martin Luther answered this important question this way: “No. But you should say: ‘ will suffer this very willingly, even though I have not deserved it and you are doing me an injustice. I will suffer it for my Lord’s sake. He also suffered injustice for me.” You should leave the matter to God, just as Christ leaves it to his heavenly Father. God is a just Judge. He will reward it richly” (Luther’s Works, Vol 30).
- Peter is making use of Isaiah 53, sometimes called the song of the Suffering Servant.
- Perhaps Peter is reminding them that their existence is more than physical. It may have been a way for Peter to encourage them that Jesus is taking care of the totality of their being–both the physical and the spiritual.
- God hear and answer your prayers because of Jesus Christ!