Come to the Man Rejected by Men

1 Peter 2:4–8, Part 1


Those who follow Jesus should expect to be rejected by the world around them. But their rejection will not be the last word. In this lab, John Piper traces a new word picture from Peter and several Old Testament quotations to show why all who come to Christ and embrace rejection with him will also receive eternal life and glory.

Principle for Bible Reading

The authors of the New Testament often quote the Old Testament. In each case, we need to ask questions about why the author went to this particular Old Testament verse or verses to explain or defend their point. What led them here?

Study Questions

  1. What change do you notice between Peter’s argument in 1 Peter 2:1–3 and 1 Peter 2:4–8? Why might Peter shift so suddenly?
  2. Read Matthew 21:33–44. How does this parable inform how Peter uses the Old Testament in 1 Peter 2:4–8?
  3. Based on 1 Peter 1, why would Peter turn to this image when writing to these believers? What is it about them that might welcome this particular metaphor?
Piper: “Christ’s rejection on our behalf covers all the inadequacies of our acts of obedience.”

Introduction/Prayer (00:00–04:30)

In 1 Peter 2:1–3, Peter uses the image of an infant being sustained with milk. In 1 Peter 2:4–8, he abruptly changes metaphors to architecture, building a house with stones.

The Cornerstone of the Old Testament (04:30–07:49)

  • Peter read his Old Testament on the look out for stone imagery. (1 Peter 2:6–8)
  • In 1 Peter 2:6–8, Peter quotes from Isaiah 28:16 (1 Peter 2:6), Psalm 118:22 (1 Peter 2:7), and Isaiah 8:14 (1 Peter 2:8).
  • Peter likely looked for stone imagery in the Old Testament, because Jesus quoted in Matthew 21:42 (the parable of the tenants).
  • Peter likely looked for stone imagery in the Old Testament, because Jesus quoted Psalm 118 in Matthew 21:42 (the parable of the tenants). Peter learned from Jesus that the rejected “stone” is Jesus.

Rejected with Christ (07:49–10:28)

  • Peter is writing to embattled sojourners and exiles. (1 Peter 2:11)
  • Peter calls Christians to live in a way that puts them out of step with the world, which will eventually lead to rejection. (1 Peter 4:3–4)
  • Peter knew he was asking people to follow Jesus in a life of rejection so they might also enjoy a life of glorification.
  • That’s why he uses the rejected stone imagery. He wants us to see that our rejection is like Christ’s, that it’s authored by God and will lead to glory.

Building a Spiritual House (10:28–15:27)

  • Peter pleads with all to come to Christ, the rejected one. (1 Peter 2:4)
  • As you come to Christ, participate in the life of the rejected stone (“as living stones”). (1 Peter 2:5)
  • God is fitting us together as living stones into a place of worship. (1 Peter 2:5)
  • First, we are together a spiritual house of worship. Then, we are together a priesthood who makes sacrifices to God. (1 Peter 2:5)
  • The sacrifices we make here are sacrifices of obedience, putting away the desires and passions of the flesh. (1 Peter 2:1)
  • C– obedience is not adequate to a God who expects perfection, but our lives are made acceptable to God through Christ. Christ’s rejection on our behalf covers all the inadequacies of our acts of obedience.
Piper: “Come and receive the one rejected by the world for your sake.”