1 Peter 5:12-14, “ By Silvanus, a faithful brother as I regard him, I have written briefly to you, exhorting and declaring that this is the true grace of God. Stand firm in it. 13 She who is at Babylon, who is likewise chosen, sends you greetings, and so does Mark, my son. 14 Greet one another with the kiss of love. Peace to all of you who are in Christ.”
Today, we conclude our study of 1, Peter, looking at 1 Peter 5:12-14. Ancient letters often contain into the circumstances for why the letter was composed and typically include a standard greeting that has been adapted to a Christian audience.
In 1 Peter 5:13, we read of Peter’s greetings to the audience from “she who is at Babylon.” Most likely this is a reference to the church at Rome and the theme of faithfulness to Christ that is found throughout 1 Peter. Babylon was one of the most recognizable enemies of ancient Israel. This letters is addressed to those facing suffering and scattered in exile (1 Peter 1:17) throughout the Roman empire just as those in ancient Israel endured exile in Babylon. By the time Peter wrote, it was not uncommon for Romans to compare their empire to the Babylonian empire that ruled centuries before. “She who is at Rome” would refer to the Church living in that place, which served the Lord Jesus.
1 Peter 1:13 includes greetings from the same John Mark mentioned elsewhere in the New Testament (Acts 12:25) and who early church tradition names as the author of the second book in the New Testament canon, Mark. That Peter calls Mark his son (1 Peter 5:13) means that he was instrumental in Mark’s conversion and lends credibility to the idea that Mark’s Gospel finds its source in Peter’s preaching.
Silvanus is a variation of the name Silas. The Silvanus mentioned in 1 Peter 5:12 is likely the Silas who traveled with Paul after his separation from Barnabas in Acts 15:40. The majority of biblical commentators believe Mark served as a secretary helping Peter compose this epistle. 1 Peter 5:12 also teaches readers that Silas helped Peter write this letter so they would know the true grace of God and how to stand firm in the face of opposition. Peter having instructed his audience in these things closed his letter by offering peace to all those who are in Christ Jesus in 1 Peter 5:14.
1 Peter has much to teach readers about the real Christian life and how Christians are to ground their lives in biblical doctrine so they might stand firm for the Lord Jesus. Only as God’s people remind themselves of their election (1 Peter 1:2-5), the power of the gospel (1 Peter 1:23-25), their status as the people of God (1 Peter 2:4-10), the substitutionary atonement of Christ (1 Peter 2:24–25), and their union with Christ (3:18–22) will Christians be convinced that their profession of faith in the Lord Jesus is worth dying for. As you end this article and we now conclude this series through 1 Peter, please spend some time today thinking about and meditating upon these tremendous biblical truths we’ve examined in this epistle.