“Of this salvation the prophets have inquired and searched carefully, who prophesied of the grace that would come to you” (1 Peter 1:10).
The Gospel of Luke records the following statement from Jesus…
“…all things have been committed to me by my Father. No one knows who the Son is except the Father, and no one knows who the Father is except the Son and those to whom the Son chooses to reveal him.’ Then he turned to his disciples and said privately, ‘Blessed are the eyes that see what you see. For I tell you that many prophets and kings wanted to see what you see but did not see it, and to hear what you hear but did not hear it'” (Luke 10:22-24 NIV).
1 Peter 1:10 offers insight into that passage as it describes the efforts of the Old Testament prophets to better understand the revelations they received from God. These messengers faithfully conveyed those prophetic truths; however, they struggled to understand how their messages formed a comprehensive picture. The following commentary offers two such examples…
“These prophets, realizing that the Spirit signified more by their words than they themselves could appreciate, scrutinized their writings for the deeper significance. Dan. 8: 15; 9: 2 f., is one example of this process in operation, while Isa. 53, quoted in 2: 22-25, is an instance of the type of prophesying in mind.” (1)
So while the Old Testament prophets spoke of the Messiah’s suffering (Isaiah 53) as well as His triumph (Isaiah 11), they labored to understand the relationship between those two aspects of God’s redemptive plan. Their experience illustrates the common bond we share with these ancient prophets whenever we struggle to ascertain God’s purpose behind the circumstances we experience.
If we are ever challenged with the task of deciphering God’s will for our lives, we can take comfort in the fact that these Old Testament prophets endured a similar struggle as well. Another source ties those experiences together for our benefit…
“Peter’s point in verses 10-12 seems to be that his readers could rejoice in their sufferings, even though they could not see exactly how or when their present trials would end. The readers should find encouragement by looking at the prophets’ limited understanding of their own prophecies dealing with the suffering and glorification of Messiah. God would bring their own experiences to a glorious completion, just as surely as He would Messiah’s, though in both cases the details of fulfillment were not yet clear.” (2)
(1) New International Bible Commentary general editor G. C. D. Howley, consulting editors F. F. Bruce, H. L. Ellison. Copyright© 1979 by Pickering & Inglis Ltd [pp. 1553].
(2) Constable, Thomas. DD. “Notes on 1 Peter 2023 Edition” (1:12) Expository Notes of Dr. Thomas Constable. https://planobiblechapel.org/tcon/notes/pdf/1peter.pdf