We have spoken much over the last few months about Jesus’ identity with the exile of the lsraelites in the Old Testament. In the New Testament, we find out that not only is Jesus identified as an exile, but all who follow after him will live as exiles as well.
Peter writes his epistle to Christians who have been cast out from the good graces of the societies into which they have been born. The church is a new community made of exiles from among the nations of the earth.
The Bible Project put together a great presentation about how the theme of exile identifies the church. https://bibleproject.com/learn/exile/
Here’s the video, but I highly recommend you check out the entire presentation, too.
Being rejected by men is an unavoidable reality for anyone who seeks to live in union with Christ. Sooner or later it is going to happen in some circumstance on some level. The antidote to the reality of rejection is to embrace the greater reality of our acceptance as the people of God. 1 Peter 2:4-10 highlights this new identity as well as any passage in all of the Bible.
1 Peter 2:4-10
As you come to him, a living stone rejected by men but in the sight of God chosen and precious, 5 you yourselves like living stones are being built up as a spiritual house, to be a holy priesthood, to offer spiritual sacrifices acceptable to God through Jesus Christ. 6 For it stands in Scripture:
“Behold, I am laying in Zion a stone,
a cornerstone chosen and precious,
and whoever believes in him will not be put to shame.”
7 So the honor is for you who believe, but for those who do not believe,
“The stone that the builders rejected
has become the cornerstone,”
“A stone of stumbling,
and a rock of offense.”
They stumble because they disobey the word, as they were destined to do.
9 But you are a chosen race, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people for his own possession, that you may proclaim the excellencies of him who called you out of darkness into his marvelous light. 10 Once you were not a people, but now you are God’s people; once you had not received mercy, but now you have received mercy.
- Why is Jesus rejected by men even today? (1 Peter 2:4)
- How do you understand yourself to be part of the spiritual house of God? (vv. 5-6)
- In which ways does our world stumble over Jesus? (vv. 7-8)
- How are we at odds with the elements of the world that reject Jesus?
- What is God’s view of the church?
- How does God’s view of the church help you to understand how God views you?
- Which part of 1 Peter 2:9-10 do you find to be most encouraging?
- Why do you think the church is most corrupt when it is close to the centers of worldly power?
- Why do you think the church functions best when it faces rejection in the world?