This passage can be divided into three main sections.
Children, obey your parents in the Lord, for this is right. Honor your father and mother (which is the first commandment with a promise), so that it may be well with you, and that you may live long on the earth.
These verses show us how we are to be towards our parents and the importance of submitting to their authority and honoring them. The meaning of “honor” in this context has to do with putting of your own agenda and preferring another person’s wishes over your own. Honor is not reserved only for our parents however; it is also supposed to extend to everyone with whom we interact — our friends, our teachers, coworkers and those with whom we interact on a daily basis.
When someone is sworn into the Knesset in Israel, they kiss the feet of their mother when she enters for the swearing in of the new member of Knesset. This is a show of honor. When we hear of something like this, it raises the question: Do we truly make an effort to honor others? It is easy to slip into receiving way more than we give, especially when it comes to our parents. It’s easy to think that since they’re our parents, they are supposed to be the ones giving us all the love we deserve and we don’t owe them anything, but we should be pouring just as much of ourselves into others and striving to honor others even above ourselves, especially our parents.
Children be obedient to your parents in all things, for this is well-pleasing to the Lord.
Obedience to parents is part of God’s perfect plan for us. If we don’t honor our parents, we aren’t walking in the fullness of God’s design for our life and so find other areas of our life in disarray as well.
Fathers, do not provoke your children to anger, but bring them up in the discipline and instruction of the Lord.”
Also parents are given instructions for how their parenting can best line up with God’s will for them. Notice that nowhere in these verses is the word “if” used. Honoring our parents is an unconditional part of God’s plan for families, regardless of how “good” or “bad” our parents are. Parents will give account to God regarding how they parent us just as we will give account to God regarding honoring our parents. This is not a matter of give and take, but simply give and don’t condition your honoring of your parents on the quality of their parenting.
Slaves, be obedient to those who are your masters according to the flesh, with fear and trembling, in the sincerity of your heart, as to Messiah, not by the way of eyeservice, as people pleasers, but as slaves of Messiah, doing the will of God from the heart. With Good will, render service, as to the Lord, and not to men, knowing that whatever good thing each one does, this he will receive back from the Lord, whether slave or free. And masters, do the same things to them, and give up threatening, knowing that both their Master and yours is in heaven, and there is no partiality with Him.
We need to wake up every morning ready to walk according to the will of God in every area of our lives unconditionally, without making excuses for failing to fully honor others around us.
You are the light of the world. A city set on a hill cannot be hidden; nor does anyone light a lamp and put it under a basket, but on the lamp stand, and it gives light to all who are in the house. Let your light shine before men in such a way that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father who is in heaven.
You are My friends if you do what I command you. No longer do I call you slaves, for the slave does not know what his master is doing; but I have called you friends, for all things that I have heard from My Father I have made known to you. You did not choose Me but I chose you, and appointed you that you would go and bear fruit, and that your fruit would remain, so that whatever you ask of the Father in My name He may give to you. This I command you, that you love one another. If the world hates you, you know that it has hated Me before it hated you. If you were of the world, the world would love its own; but because you are not of the world, but I chose you out of the world, because of this the world hates you.
God tells us that we are to be a light and a witness, to be bearers of fruit, loving and honoring those around us, not only those who care for us well but also those who don’t — to bring light to the entire house of humanity and not only those that we in our limited human understanding deem worthy. Just as the Lord chose us while we were yet his enemies, he has also chosen and loves deeply those whom we may not yet have a deep love for. Our Messiah was rejected by the world because of his bold and unwavering demonstration of love for us. We too must risk and even endure rejection so that we might bring light to the entire house in which all are offered the opportunity to becomes children of God.