12 Through Silvanus, our faithful brother (for so I regard him), I have written to you briefly, exhorting and testifying that this is the true grace of God. Stand firm in it! 13 She who is in Babylon, chosen together with you, sends you greetings, and so does my son, Mark. 14 Greet one another with a kiss of love. Peace be to you all who are in Christ. 1 Peter 5:12-14
It would be intriguing to study all the men around Peter and Paul. Some, like Silvanus and Mark, did time with both icons. When you think about biblical geography and the limitations of travel, to show up in numerous places took huge effort and faithful commitment. Moreover, the apostles were marked men, and association with them had to be dangerous.
But hanging in there–or better, around–proved to put Silvanus in the enviable position to take a letter from the Little Rock. Peter, from firsthand experience, regarded him as a “faithful brother,” and may have insisted that his secretary include “for so I regard him.”
Silvanus undoubtedly enhanced the finished product, because he was on the same page. What’s more, he had absorbed sound doctrine from “the primary actors” in the early church.
I imagine the dictation to be quite animated since Peter was pacing about in the spirit, “exhorting and testifying” about the “true grace of God.” Surely the words “stand firm in it” were delivered with passion and clenched fist.
The other man mentioned is “son Mark.” By now he was torn between two lovers, with Paul now pronouncing him “useful.”
Both Silvanus and Mark, I’m sure, were ready to assume the mantle of leadership when Peter and Paul’s work was done. In fact, they were on the verge of being called up.
The reference to she who is in Babylon is curious, but not so, when you consider the escalating persecution of the church in Rome. It was code for “the elect” in that pivotal city.
Every believer should immediately be struck with the same affection upon meeting a fellow citizen of glory. In that time it was expressed with a holy kiss and a peace be with you. Now it’s a holy hug.