Wednesday, June 14, 2017
13 She who is in Babylon, chosen together with you, sends you greetings, and so does my son, Mark. 14 Greet one another with a kiss of love. Peace be to you all who are in Christ (1 Peter 5).
Most scholars agree that “She who is in Babylon” most likely refers to the church in Rome, where persecution had begun shortly after the great fire (“while Nero fiddled”), thus prompting Peter to write this epistle in the first place. His “son, Mark” (son by endearment, not biology—much as Timothy was to Paul) is definitely none other than John Mark, the Gospel writer who earlier had accompanied Paul and Barnabas briefly on their first missionary journey. That he is close to Peter so many years later attests to his continued faithful work in the kingdom.
The word for “kiss” is derived from the word, “phileo,” the term for “brotherly love.” Peter couples this with “love”—“agape”—which is God’s unconditional love. What a beautiful picture of both brotherly and godly love mixed together. Thus, both the “peace” that we enjoy together through brotherly love, as well as “peace” with God, comes because of our being “in Christ” through the unconditional and gracious love of God.
Lord, it is sweet to see the very last words of this letter by Peter are the words “in Christ.” For, when all is said and done, this is what and who we are—a people who are “in Christ”—and who will remain so forever and ever and ever. This is all that really matters. Help us This Day to be a people of peace and brotherly love. Amen.