There is widespread agreement that Mark’s gospel is based principally on Peter’s inspired recollection of his relationships with Jesus & the other 11 witnesses.
After Jesus returned to heaven, Peter was his witness primarily among the Jews. However, he was also used by God to welcome Gentiles into God’s family, when he was led by the Holy Spirit to share the good news about Jesus with Cornelius. Peter played a leading role in the church in Jerusalem. Later, Peter served briefly alongside Paul in the Galatian region of Turkey. Several 2nd & 3rd century Christian leaders record that that Peter eventually served as head of the church in Rome for 15-25 years. Beyond all this, little is known of his travels as a missionary.
In any case, we do have two letters that Peter wrote to believers, dated between 60 & 65 AD. The first was written to encourage Christians under the threat of violent persecution in various places in Turkey (327). Peter intended that this letter would be shared with numerous Christian churches in that part of the world.
He begins by reminding the churches that Jesus has given us the hope of a far better life in heaven. When suffering here on earth is endured in this hope, it actually strengthens our faith. The secret of enduring is to focus on walking in holiness, not to focus on our suffering.
And the best way to walk in holiness is to love one another. Love covers a multitude of sins – our sins & the sins of others.
Peter refers to church members as living stones, whom God is using to build a spiritual temple here on earth. Since we have been chosen by God for this, we need to let God use us for this; we need to cooperate with God. Jesus is our best example of such cooperation with God.
Following the example of Jesus, Christians are called to submit to human authority, even if it involves suffering. Similarly, wives are called to submit quietly to their husbands, believing that God can use this example to win their husbands’ hearts. At the same time, Peter admonishes husbands to remember always that their wives are equally loved by God; they are fellow heirs of God’s grace.
Peter then encourages the believers always to be ready to tell others why we follow Jesus.
We never know when those opportunities will arise. When we live for God instead of for ourselves, it catches people’s attention. And this often leads to opportunities to tell others about all that Jesus has done for us.
God, please help me to love holiness & readiness.
(327) 1 Peter 1-3