With terrorism, political instability, and social unrest, much of our culture is given to fear and anxiety. In the face of such realities, should Christians fear the things that the world does? In this lab, Pastor John gives us one answer to this question and tells us that we have something to treasure more than safety.
Principle for Bible Reading
One way that humans love to communicate is to use words and phrases that someone else has said in the past to enhance what they are saying now. We quote others to defend, explain, or confirm what we are trying to communicate.
For instance, the biblical authors utilize the Old Testament in many different ways. We should ask what texts they are quoting to make their point, or when they do not quote a specific text, which texts might they have had in mind. Utilizing cross-references, especially when a New Testament verse or passage cites or alludes to Old Testament passages, helps us to have a fuller understanding of what the authors were trying to communicate.
Someone who is fighting injustice might begin a speech by saying, “ I have a dream . . . ” They are not drawing attention to what happened while they slept the night before. Rather, they are linking their situation to the words of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. and to the Civil Rights era. The fullness of what is being said would be lost without thinking of things such as police hosing African-Americans in the streets, water fountains for “whites” and “coloreds,” mass rallies and marches on Washington, etc.
In this Lab:
By taking the time to read Isaiah 8:12–13, Pastor John sees amazing things concerning Christ. The most striking thing that he observes is that Peter replaces “the LORD of hosts” with “Christ.” This is a clear allusion to Jesus’s deity that might have been missed had Isaiah not been drawn in here.
- Compare Isaiah 8:12–13 and 1 Peter 3:14–15. What can we learn about Christ from how Peter modifies his citation of these verses in Isaiah?
- What comes to mind when you think of honoring God? What might it mean to honor Christ as holy in 1 Peter 3:15?
- What is something that you are prone to fear more than Christ? If our fears expose our deepest treasures, what is the competing treasure beneath that fear?