God’s Grace in Submission – Submission to Masters

Posted by on May 24, 2020 in Teachings, Video
God’s Grace in Submission – Submission to Masters

Author & Audience

We are continuing our study of the first letter of Shimon Kefa (Simon Peter). Shimon, as one of the twelve (12) Shl’chim, became known as the Apostle to the Jews. Shimon wrote to the believing communities who were living in the region of Asia Minor (mostly in modern day Turkey). These believers were primarily Jewish followers of Yeshua, but also included Gentiles who had been grafted into the body of Messiah. As such, the recipients of the letter were very much like Hineh Yeshua – Jews and Gentiles one in Messiah. It continues to be important to remember that this Epistle was written to communities who were going through times of trial and suffering. Also, they were also about to enter into a greater time of persecution by the Roman Emperor Nero around 62 AD.

Last Time

Last time we began a section that is all about a concept that is not that popular today, that is the word hupotassō which means literally “to place under,” to “subject oneself” or “rank oneself under.” Believers are called to follow the Messiah’s example who himself submitted his life and his will to the Father in order to accomplish our salvation. Kefa/Peter encourages us to submit ourselves to the ruling authorities, the government and leaders that have been placed over us. And we are called to submit ourselves to those over us in the marketplace, i.e. our bosses and supervisors. This doesn’t mean that we are to be “doormats” that never stand up for truth and righteousness because we noted that even Peter stood up against the Jewish authorities and disobeyed them when he was told not to preach in the name of Yeshua. But generally speaking, we are to submit for the Lord’s sake… for the sake of our witness in this world. So the first section is about submission to authorities, now we have submission to masters.

Submission to Masters

1 Peter 2:18–25 (CJB) Household servants, submit yourselves to your masters, showing them full respect—and not only those who are kind and considerate, but also those who are harsh. For it is a grace when someone, because he is mindful of God, bears up under the pain of undeserved punishment. For what credit is there in bearing up under a beating you deserve for doing something wrong? But if you bear up under punishment, even though you have done what is right, God looks on it with favor. Indeed, this is what you were called to; because the Messiah too suffered, on your behalf, leaving an example so that you should follow in his steps. “He committed no sin, nor was any deceit found on his lips.” When he was insulted, he didn’t retaliate with insults; when he suffered, he didn’t threaten, but handed them over to him who judges justly. He himself bore our sins in his body on the stake, so that we might die to sins and live for righteousness—by his wounds you were healed. For you used to be like sheep gone astray, but now you have turned to the Shepherd, who watches over you.

First of all, it is interesting that neither Peter nor Paul attacked slavery as an institution. Rather, they taught that servants must show submission and reverence to their masters, even if these masters are unreasonable and hard to get along with. Rabbi Sha’ul said; “Slaves, obey your human masters in everything, not serving only when they are watching you, to win their favor, but single-heartedly, fearing the Lord. Whatever work you do, put yourself into it, as those who are serving not merely other people, but the Lord. Remember that as your reward, you will receive the inheritance from the Lord. You are slaving for the Lord, for the Messiah. Don’t worry—whoever is doing wrong will be paid in kind for his wrong, and there is no favoritism shown.” (Colossians 3:22–25, CJB)

  • This should still be our attitude today even if we are unjustly treated. What if we as believers are treated badly by unsaved bosses?
  • What if we are told to do something at work that we know is a blatant breach of laws or is unethical?

But if you bear up under punishment, even though you have done what is right, God looks on it with favor. Note that Peter is not telling us to look for excuses to suffer. He is talking about suffering for the name of Messiah (see Matt. 5:9–12), suffering when we have done no wrong but have let our lights shine. It takes real grace to endure when you do good, but are treated badly anyway. Of course, our supreme example is our Messiah (v.21). Peter is reflecting on Isaiah 53 – the Suffering Servant of God. A text he either quotes or reflects on a number of times (again, proof that he is writing to messianic Jews). Peter had witnessed the Messiah’s sufferings (5:1); he knew that his Lord had done no sin and that He was condemned wrongfully. He was in the courtyard when Yeshua was been interrogated and wrongfully accused by the Head Cohanim and Elders of the people.

Yeshua, in word, attitude, and deed, set a perfect example for us to follow. He did not argue; He did not fight back; He did not revile His accusers after they had reviled Him. He simply committed Himself to His Father and left the outcome with Him. Since, we’ve been crucified with Messiah and he now lives in us (Gal. 2:20), we are able to do as he did when we face persecution.

1 Peter 2:22-25 “amazing truths… let’s look at them one at a time… ““He committed no sin, nor was any deceit found on his lips.” When he was insulted, he didn’t retaliate with insults; when he suffered, he didn’t threaten, but handed them over to him who judges justly. He himself bore our sins in his body on the stake, so that we might die to sins and live for righteousness—by his wounds you were healed. For you used to be like sheep gone astray, but now you have turned to the Shepherd, who watches over you.” (1 Peter 2:22–25, CJB)

  • He committed no sin, nor was any deceit found on his lips.
  • When he was insulted, he didn’t retaliate with insults;
  • When he suffered, he didn’t threaten, but handed them over to him who judges justly.
  • He himself bore our sins in his body on the stake, so that we might die to sins and live for righteousness—
  • by his wounds you were healed.
  • For you used to be like sheep gone astray, but now you have turned to the Shepherd, who watches over you.

Peter uses the imagery of sheep and the Shepherd because he had heard Yeshua teach that he was the Good Shepherd (John 10) and remember how, after the resurrection, Yeshua had commanded him to “feed my sheep” (John 21). Perhaps Peter’s life-story could be entitled “From Fisherman to Shepherd.” Peter has filled this chapter with striking images of the believer. We are babes feeding on His Word; stones in the temple; priests at the altar; a chosen generation; a purchased people; a holy nation; the people of God; strangers and pilgrims; disciples following the example of the Lord; and sheep cared for by the shepherd. The messianic life is so rich and full…[2]

Next time we will look at submission in the home and in our relationships. But today, let us reflect on the Messiah’s submission as prophesied by Isaiah 53 and articulated by Kefa: ““He committed no sin, nor was any deceit found on his lips.” When he was insulted, he didn’t retaliate with insults; when he suffered, he didn’t threaten, but handed them over to him who judges justly. He himself bore our sins in his body on the stake, so that we might die to sins and live for righteousness—by his wounds you were healed. For you used to be like sheep gone astray, but now you have turned to the Shepherd, who watches over you.” (1 Peter 2:22–25, CJB)


[1] Wiersbe, W. W. (1992). Wiersbe’s expository outlines on the New Testament (p. 737). Wheaton, IL: Victor Books.

[2] Wiersbe, W. W. (1992). Wiersbe’s expository outlines on the New Testament (pp. 744–746). Wheaton, IL: Victor Books.

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