WSC Q&A #64

Q: What is required in the fifth commandment?
A: The fifth commandment requires the preserving the honor, and performing the duties, belonging to every one in their several places and relations, as superiors, inferiors or equals. 
1 Peter 2:17: Honor everyone. Love the brotherhood. Fear God. Honor the emperor.

Here again is this emphasis on honoring all authority. I think most of us understand this. We understand that those in authority over us, even when they do not act honorably, should be shown honor. For example, regardless of how you feel about a particular president or his policies, if you were invited to meet with him, you would certainly show him honor. Very few people would openly dishonor or show disrespect to one who has authority over them.

However, the catechism is taking this even further, and the verse from 1 Peter 2 emphasizes the point the catechism is making. The catechism says that the 5th commandment really teaches us to honor everyone! We, as the children of God, are to honor those who have authority over us, those who may be considered our equals, and also those who we may tend to think of as inferior to us. "Honor everyone", Peter would write. And why? Because, as he would write in the preceding verse, we are servants of God. Jesus Christ is our great example in this, isn't he? He truly has authority over every single being. Every person he met in his earthly ministry was an inferior to him. And yet, Jesus says in Mark 10:45 that "the Son of Man came not to be served, but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many."

If we are to reflect the attitude and posture of our Lord, if we are to strive to be Christ-like, then we too must live not to be served, but to serve, and in doing so, we may truly honor all people. 

Posted on March 22, 2016 .