Some people pride themselves on being speed readers. They are able to comb through documents at break-neck speed. It is indeed a truly talented person who can read dozens of words a minute and comprehend everything completely.
Sometimes, though, in the haste of scanning a document some valuable details may be lost. Small words may be overlooked that have important meaning.
In the second chapter of First Peter, there are a number of very small words that some may push out of the way that are important. The small contrasting conjunction, “but,” occurs nine times in the second chapter of that book. Contrast is important because we learn so much from it. Read the passage and then we’ll look into the importance of the little term the apostle used nine times.
Jesus was the living stone disallowed by men and crucified. Yet, he is the one who, as the cornerstone of God’s house, gives life to all who obey him. He was set aside by men, but chosen by God and precious.
Peter quotes Isaiah 28:16 in 2 Peter 2:6 to show some eternal truths. Christ submitted himself to the men who killed him in order to save us all. Humans believe when a person is punished it is because of guilt. But, Jesus was innocent. We, like Christ, if we have obeyed him and live as God’s children, will find ourselves set aside as he was. Notice how the apostle used the contrasting conjunctions in verses seven through ten to delineate the difference between the disobedient and the obedient.
Verse 13 is the heart. “Submit yourselves to every ordinance for the Lord’s sake,” the apostle wrote. The sum of the passage is simple: Christ submitted, and so we must submit. This is what Christians do, friends. We submit.
There are some who would like to fight every law, or grumble at every supervisor they have because they disagree. Christians can disagree, but we submit. We submit to the head of the government (1 Peter 2:17) or each other (1 Peter 5:5).
We submit because submission teaches the lost. It teaches other people what God prizes most highly: he prizes those who will obey him simply because they love him (John 14:15).
Submission has indeed been overlooked by the world, just as the people of Jesus’ day overlooked him. Instead of realizing he was the creator of the universe (Colossians 1:16), they dismissed him as an itinerant preacher. How wrong they were!
Let us remember the hallmark of the faithful children of God, the chosen generation, the royal priesthood, is that we submit.