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Bible Reading and Commentary for Day 1004
1 Peter 5:12-14 (ESV)
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. She who is at Babylon, who is likewise chosen, sends you greetings, and so does Mark, my son. Greet one another with the kiss of love.
Peace to all of you who are in Christ.
Other Lessons for this Day
If God is your co-pilot, swap seats.
Notes on the Scripture
Silvanus, who is called "Silas" in Acts, was an important person in the early church and is a saint (in denominations that have saints). We first meet him in Acts 15,where he is called one of the "leading men among the brethren" (i.e., the Christian community at Jerusalem). He was entrusted by the Council of Jerusalem to Antioch to transmit the critically important decision about Gentiles joining the church.
Later on, he accompanied Paul on parts of his first and second journeys; from the chronology of Acts, we can deduce that Silas was also engaged in some missionary work independent of Paul. He is mentioned, along with Timothy, in three of Paul's epistles to the churches in Corinth and Thessalonika, which Silvanus had been instrumental in founding.
In the icon below, he is depicted in chains. This celebrates the incident at Philippi, when he and Paul were freed from prison by an earthquake, which broke their chains and opened the prison door. (Acts 16:25-28)
We also know, from today's passage, that he joined Peter in Rome. Subsequent oral history designates him as the bishop of Macedonia and/or Corinth, which makes sense, as that was the area in which he had done extensive missionary work.
"Mark, my son" almost certainly refers to the rather odd man who would eventually write the Gospel of Mark. Peter most likely uses the term "son" because he had personally been responsible for Mark's conversion.
Most likely, "she who is at Babylon" is not a person, but code for the Christians still in Rome. Scholars agree that "Babylon" here is a somewhat sarcastic reference to Rome, where depravity and the persecution of Jews and Christians was still growing. It would have been dangerous for Peter to refer to Christians in Rome, or even name the city, in case the letter were intercepted.