What does 1 Peter 1:12 mean?
ESV: It was revealed to them that they were serving not themselves but you, in the things that have now been announced to you through those who preached the good news to you by the Holy Spirit sent from heaven, things into which angels long to look.
NIV: It was revealed to them that they were not serving themselves but you, when they spoke of the things that have now been told you by those who have preached the gospel to you by the Holy Spirit sent from heaven. Even angels long to look into these things.
NASB: It was revealed to them that they were not serving themselves, but you, in these things which now have been announced to you through those who preached the gospel to you by the Holy Spirit sent from heaven—things into which angels long to look.
CSB: It was revealed to them that they were not serving themselves but you. These things have now been announced to you through those who preached the gospel to you by the Holy Spirit sent from heaven —angels long to catch a glimpse of these things.
NLT: They were told that their messages were not for themselves, but for you. And now this Good News has been announced to you by those who preached in the power of the Holy Spirit sent from heaven. It is all so wonderful that even the angels are eagerly watching these things happen.
KJV: Unto whom it was revealed, that not unto themselves, but unto us they did minister the things, which are now reported unto you by them that have preached the gospel unto you with the Holy Ghost sent down from heaven; which things the angels desire to look into.
NKJV: To them it was revealed that, not to themselves, but to us they were ministering the things which now have been reported to you through those who have preached the gospel to you by the Holy Spirit sent from heaven—things which angels desire to look into.
Verse Commentary:
Verses 10 and 11 explained an important truth about the earlier prophets of Israel. Inspired by the Holy Spirit, the prophets of the Old Testament had written about a coming salvation by God's grace. They had written about a savior who would suffer and then be glorified. Then they had searched and asked: "Who is this person and when will this happen?"

What was revealed to them was this: As they wrote the words of God under the influence of the Holy Spirit, they were serving not themselves but future generations. The Christ would come after their time.

Peter means for his readers (and for us) to understand what a huge deal it is that the message of salvation by God's grace has been revealed to us now. God didn't tell the prophets—or, apparently, the angels, even when they asked—but He has shown us. Hundreds of years after the prophets' time, this good news, or "gospel," about salvation through faith in Christ, was delivered. It was given to Peter's audience by that same Holy Spirit, through the preaching and teaching of others. And now, thousands of years later, it has been delivered to us by that same Holy Spirit.
Verse Context:
1 Peter 1:3–12 is one of the most loved passages in all of Scripture. It begins as a blessing to God, but also describes how incredibly He has blessed us in Christ. Because Jesus has risen from the dead, our hope is not a wish—it is as alive as He is. Our inheritance as God’s children is eternal, full of glory, and secured forever. Even in our suffering, we have every reason to rejoice. The mystery of God’s plan has been revealed to us in Christ. We are being saved!
Chapter Summary:
Peter, the apostle of Jesus, writes a letter to Christians facing persecution to comfort them with the truth of who they are in Christ—children of God with every reason to rejoice in their salvation and future glory in eternity. Next, he urges them to live like the holy ones of God they already are by obeying God now, loving each other earnestly, and placing all of their hope in the endless life to come.
Chapter Context:
This beautiful, profound, and challenging first chapter of 1 Peter lays the foundation for the rest of Peter’s letter. In spite of whatever suffering we may face, God Himself has already shown us great mercy in Christ by including us in His family! Jesus is our living hope. Our future is secure and endless and perfect. As the children of God we have every reason to rejoice, even in this present darkness. Peter then calls us to prepare ourselves to live as the holy people God has made us to be.
Book Summary:
Some 30 years after the resurrection of Jesus, Christians are facing greater persecution for their faith. How should they respond? How should we respond to suffering today? The apostle Peter writes this letter both to comfort believers and to encourage them to stay strong. He urges them to put all their hope in their perfect future with Christ, and to obey and trust Him in the present, even in their suffering. Christ suffered greatly; now the Christ-followers have the opportunity to follow Him even in this, showing His grace and power in their hopefulness, obedience, and faith.
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