4. Encouraged By Friends - Verses 12-14
Peter writes to the believers to encourage and testify to the grace of God even through the trials and sorrows that have come from persecution. He reminds them it is with the help of Silvanus or Silas whom they would know from the work that he did among them with Paul the apostle. Silas was helping Peter not only with the writing of this letter, for some reason, and surely by delivering of the letter but probably giving information to him since he was familiar with those he was writing to, having been there and met the people Peter is writing to, those believers scattered throughout Pontus, Galatia, Cappadocia, Asia and Bithynia.
Anyone who has been persecuted and found many trials need encouraging and the words from Peter surely would do that. He reminded them of that special blessing of the “true grace of God” that comes to those who are steadfast in life in spite of the trials they have faced. “Stand fast in it!” Don’t waiver from God’s grace and love, stick with the truth that God will come through and meet the needs of those He loves even in the midst of life’s troubles.
The gospel is the true grace of God; it is not the creation of man, nor is it at the mercy of "change and decay." Man's understanding of it may be fragmentary, and his trust in it may be meager. Therefore he needs to "grow in grace, and in the knowledge of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ" Interpreter’s Bible
One of the things Peter has done here in this letter, much like Paul did, was to send greetings to those He writes to from those they may know. Or, just the Christians in the area. In this case he uses the term Babylon which is Rome, and all those believers there sent their greetings to the believers in Asia Minor. One name that they might know is Mark who was pretty well known in the Christian life and for sure was according to Peter “his son in the ministry.” That could have meant several things. It could mean that Peter led Mark to the Lord and therefore was his “son.” But I tend not to think that way. Even though Mark spent a tremendous time with Peter and learned so much from him about Jesus for which Mark used to write his Gospel, I don’t think that Peter led him to the Lord. I believe it was Barnabas, his cousin. Mark spent a lot of time with Barnabas after they left Paul and I believe Barnabas shared the faith with him and led him to grow as a believer. Peter had an impact on Mark and also helped him grow and learned much from Peter about the Savior.
With that said, Peter then sends the thought of greeting the believers there with the holy kiss. Someone has said, "A kiss to a young girl is hope, to a married woman is faith, but to an old maid is charity." In our country and culture, I think we had better just use the handshake as the means of Christian greeting.JVM
This kiss is the act of just greeting someone by kissing on both cheeks. We see it all the time in that culture. Peter was making their greeting, the Christian’s greeting, a part of their love for one another by saying this will be a “holy” greeting not just a worldly “hi!” This kiss now given, was customary as a symbol of love and communion among believers in that day.
Because of all the sorrow and hurt and hatred seen by Peter he knows that is true for the people to whom he is writing also, he concludes his letter to remind them, in Christ there is something different. It is peace! “Peace to all of you who are in Christ” Isn’t that a great way to end a letter to people who are going through trials and persecution. Don’t we all need that kind of peace too?
We live in a time of turmoil and hatred. We have divisions beyond our understanding and surely people do not have peace in this day. But to each of you who are brothers and sisters in Christ, I tell you today PEACE is the Christ way! PEACE is the way that one can live true to God! PEACE is the way you can show the love of Christ to the lost and dying world who have no peace! I have used this slogan for years and put it on our marque - No Christ, No Peace, Know Christ, Know Peace. If you live with that truth in your heart, you can share the love of God with those who have no peace.
If you are a believer and you are living in fear from whatever may come your way, whether it be coronavirus or sickness of some kind, that you might get cancer or some other disease that will kill you or someone you love, then you have no peace! You are not trusting in the Lord God who is completely sovereign. You are living in fear! Our God calls us not to live in fear,