Let’s look today at the work of Peter. Today’s passage is a nice parallel to the words of Jesus in today’s reading in John.
To do justice to Peter, we should back up to at least 3:8-9: To sum up, you should all be of one mind living like brothers with true love and sympathy for each other, generous and courteous at all times. Never pay back a bad turn with a bad turn or an insult with another insult, but on the contrary pay back with good. For this is your calling—to do good and one day to inherit all the goodness of God. Phillips This passage follows several similar statements in chapters one and two.
He follows that with a quote from Psalm 34:12-16, ending with, he turns his back on those who do evil things. MSG
Turning now to verse 13, we read; For who will hurt you if you become zealots for what is good? CJB In the Greek, Peter begins the verse with, who is the one doing evil to you? Actually, the sentence reads, And who the one harming you if of the good you become zelots? United Bible Society Interlinear
Peter wants us to connect this thought with Psalm 34. The opening verse is; I bless the Lord at all times; praise of Him is ever in my mouth. JSB The second half of the Psalm stresses our actions and included the words, mouth, tongue, lips, eyes, ears, face, bones. It is a call to action.
Peter wants us to always speak and act the Will of God.
But even if you should suffer for what is right, you are blessed. NIV This is the most common and most accurate English translation, minus the two underlined words. But what does Peter mean by being blessed? Phillips has it; that is a privilege, and The Message writes; you’re still better off. Both give us a glimpse of what it means to be blessed.
Verse 15; treat the Messiah as holy, as Lord in your hearts. CJB Only by asking every day, What Would Jesus Do, can we begin to do what is right in the eyes of God. Doing good is not easy. Christians are guilty of many evils which we believed were good. Keeping our focus on the Messiah and on God is not easy. But we must work at it every day.
For it is better to suffer for doing good, if that should be God’s will, than for doing evil. ESV
How do we know the Will of God? Now we turn to the work of John, vs 15-17. If you really love me, you will keep the commandments I have given you and I shall ask the Father to give you someone else to stand by you, to be with you always. I mean the Spirit of truth, whom the world cannot accept, for it can neither see nor recognise that Spirit. But you recognise him, for he is with you now and will be in your hearts. Phillips
The Holy Spirit is the Presence of God, the Power of God, and the Sustenance of God. Some people can see the Spirit, but most of us must trust that he is beside us in all we do, even when we fail to do God’s Will. There is no shame in failure. God’s Plan for the earth will happen with or without our help. We simply try to help more than we hurt.
Be righteous and do good.