“To those who are elect exiles of the Dispersion in Pontus, Galatia, Cappadocia, Asia, and Bithynia” (1 Peter 1:1)
Peter addresses his readers as “exiles of the Dispersion”, and then mentions various regions. These are in modern Turkey. Peter’s readers were living there. So why does he call them “exiles”?
Well, these Christians recognized that the place where they were living, was not home. They were facing exclusion and discrimination because of their faith in Jesus Christ. This was not a local problem of that time; it is the universal experience of Christian throughout all ages. Jesus Himself pointed out the reason in John 17:16 “They are not of the world, just as I am not of the world.”
The Christian author C.S. Lewis expresses the same idea: “If we find ourselves with a desire that nothing in this world can satisfy, the most probable explanation is that we were made for another world.”
Everybody who belongs to Jesus, does not fully belong to this world. He is a stranger, and exile. Sometimes the world even hates him. This makes him all the more longing for the fulfillment of God’s Kingdom, where he will be “at home with the Lord” (2 Corinthians 5:8).
Are you living as a stranger in this world?
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