About Jesus - Steve (Stephen) Sweetman
Jesus Builds - We Demolish
1 Peter 2:4 and 5 read:
you come to him, the living Stone—rejected by humans but chosen by God
and precious to him— you also, like living stones, are being built
into a spiritual house to be a holy priesthood, offering spiritual
sacrifices acceptable to God through Jesus Christ."
Much could be said about the Old Testament Jewish
allusions seen in these verses. I'll
zero in on the phrase "being built into a spiritual house."
To begin, Jesus, Peter, and the Jews of Peter's day
would have understood the word "house" to be a human extended
family, as in, "the house of David."
The adjective "spiritual" makes this family a spiritual
family conceived through the intimate union of God's Spirit and the
In the Greek text, our English verb "being
built" is a present passive indicative verb.
The present and indicative part of this verb means that as Peter
was writing this letter, his readers, without any hint of doubt, were in
the process of being built into a spiritual family.
The passive part of this verb means that the members of this
spiritual family were not doing the building.
The building was being done by an outside source, who was Jesus.
Although the recipients of Peter's letter were to be
co-operatively participating in the building project, Jesus was its
general contractor who designed the building plan and provided the
necessities for the project's success.
The context of this specific building project that Peter wrote about is seen in chapter 1. There, we note that those being fitted into a spiritual family were suffering from all kinds of trials, many of which came from the surrounding anti-Christ culture. In the midst of such stressful suffering, personal relationships often suffer to the point of separation. For this reason, Peter admonished his readers to rid themselves of all divisive human tendencies, such as, malice, deceit, hypocrisy, and slander. If those to whom this letter was directed could comply with his admonition, the spiritual house could escape a nasty demolition.
Nothing has changed since Peter's day.
Human relationships still struggle under stressful situations.
Jesus still builds His spiritual house and we still demolish it,
as seen in the stress of the present Covid crisis.
Stress can either strengthen or weaken.
It can pull a family together or rip it apart.
The choice is ours. We
either help build or we demolish. I
choose to help build.