1 Peter 1:10-12
What were the prophets investigating? What does this tell us about them and their character?
Who knows more about the Messiah, the prophets or us? Is it better to know a few select things revealed directly by God (as the prophets did) or all of God’s revealed plan (as we do)?
For what purpose did God reveal these things to the prophets?
What are some Old Testament Scriptures which tell of the sufferings and glories of the Messiah?
Who are the ones who have “preached the gospel to you?”
What does the end of verse 12 tell us about angels?
Verses on the Messiah’s Suffering
Zechariah 11:12-13 – I told them, “If you think it best, give me my pay; but if not, keep it.” So they paid me thirty pieces of silver.
And the Lord said to me, “Throw it to the potter”—the handsome price at which they valued me! So I took the thirty pieces of silver and threw them to the potter at the house of the Lord.
Isaiah 50:6 – I offered my back to those who beat me, my cheeks to those who pulled out my beard; I did not hide my face from mocking and spitting.
Zechariah 13:6 – If someone asks, ‘What are these wounds on your body?’ they will answer, ‘The wounds I was given at the house of my friends.’
Verses on the Messiah’s Glory
Jeremiah 23:5 – “The days are coming,” declares the Lord, “when I will raise up for David a righteous Branch, a King who will reign wisely and do what is just and right in the land.
Luke 1:31-33 – You will conceive and give birth to a son, and you are to call him Jesus. He will be great and will be called the Son of the Most High. The Lord God will give him the throne of his father David, and he will reign over Jacob’s descendants forever; his kingdom will never end.”
Zechariah 14:4 – On that day his feet will stand on the Mount of Olives, east of Jerusalem, and the Mount of Olives will be split in two from east to west, forming a great valley, with half of the mountain moving north and half moving south.
1. This salvation that is not yet completely fulfilled for us (since for example our bodies will only be glorified in the yet future) was even much more distant future for the prophets. They had many parts of God’s plan revealed to them, which they recorded in the Scriptures. We are saved by faith by looking back at the coming of Christ while they were saved by faith by looking to the future coming of Christ.
2. The prophets were diligent to study what had been written in the Scriptures, including their own writings, wanting to find out as much as possible about the coming Messiah. When would this happen? Who would fulfill this prophecy? Where would these things take place? What would be the signs? I’m sure many of them were looking and hoping for these promises to be fulfilled in their lifetimes.
We can learn important lessons from them:
A. If we don’t know something or have questions, we should study as much as possible to try to have those questions answered. This is a method God uses to encourage us to be diligent in order to draw closer to Him.
It is like a kid who has a math problem. Sometimes he will ask his father to answer it for him. My father never would. Instead he gave me some principles, but asked me to keep trying myself, no matter how long it took. This process helped me much more than him directly answering the question would have.
God wants us to be diligent spiritually. Sometimes the process of learning can be as important as the end result.
B. Just as the prophets looked forward to the coming of the Messiah, so should we. Knowing that He could come at any time certainly would have affected their life. They would have been motivated to godly living so that they would be ready. What they didn’t know was that Jesus would come twice. While we are looking and hoping for Jesus’ second coming, we will also never know the time it will happen until it happens, but we should be ready.
C. Just as the prophets didn’t understand everything God wanted them to do, we may not either.
3. There were Old Testament prophecies covering both Jesus’ sufferings and His glories. The sufferings are prophecies fulfilled the first time He returned to earth while prophecies about His reign, kingdom, etc. are still yet to be fulfilled.
4. The prophets were serving us. Some Christians might wish that God would speak directly to them like He did to the prophets. Surely it would be better to hear God speak to us directly instead of having to find the answers in the Bible, right? Wrong! The prophets’ knowledge was very limited compared to ours. We are extremely privileged to have the complete, finished Bible with all of God’s revelation to us in it, containing everything we need for our lives.
We know far more about Christ than the prophets did. What is the lesson for us? Well, we have no excuse. We know what we should do. The resources are right in front of us. The principles are right in front of us. We just need to dig into God’s Word, root out the gold nuggets of truth, and then obey it. The key is to love God’s Word (1 Peter 2:2). Then we will study it and obey it.
Notice also that the angels are not all-knowing. They too want to study to know more about God’s plan. Never think it would be better to be a prophet and have God speak to you or to be there when Jesus came to earth to see Him face to face or to be an angel in heaven. Actually we have the best possible position as children of God, a position that angels will never have. This should motivate us to gratitude and obedience as well as study of the Word which God has given to us.
Chapter Breakdown: 1 Peter Chapter 01
10Concerning this salvation, the prophets who predicted the grace that would come to you searched and investigated carefully.
The prophets predicted that this salvation of the soul would eventually come to those who were called by God. They investigated and studied this divine principle very eagerly and very carefully.
11They probed into what person or time the Spirit of Christ within them was indicating when he testified beforehand about the sufferings appointed for Christ and his subsequent glory.
The Old Testament prophets sometimes had a difficult time understanding how the Messiah could suffer and die, but then rule as an eternal king over the Messianic kingdom. The prophets received divine revelations on some of the details, but they were limited in their understanding of how they would take place. This is why many or all of the Jewish leaders were looking for two Messiahs, one who would suffer and die and another who would rule the Davidic Kingdom forever. They did not understand with their limited knowledge that there would be one Messiah, but two different comings. Many of the rabbi believed that there would be two different Messiahs.
12They were shown that they were serving not themselves but you, in regard to the things now announced to you through those who proclaimed the gospel to you by the Holy Spirit sent from heaven – things angels long to catch a glimpse of.
The prophets predicted the two comings of Christ, even though they possessed limited understanding. They knew that their words were for a future generation. The Holy Spirit gave the message through the Old Testament prophets, but he interpreted the message through the apostles. Salvation was such an important theme, that the good angels continually possessed a great desire and curiosity involving this doctrine. The good angels were never redeemed. The fallen angels can never be redeemed. Therefore, this is an experience that neither of these angelic groups possessed, but both are extremely interested in the doctrine. The good angels desire to learn everything they can about the process. The fallen angels are attempting to thwart the process.
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