Obey people who have authority over you
13 Obey all people who have authority in this world. Obey them, because you are servants of the Lord Jesus. First of all, obey the king, who rules everyone. 14 Also obey the officers that serve the king. He has sent them to punish people who do bad things. And they praise people who do good things. 15 God wants you to do only what is good. Then silly people will not be able to say bad things against you. Those people do not really know what is true.
16 You are free people. But you are servants of God. So do not think, ‘Because I am free, I can do any bad thing that I want to do.’ 17 Respect all people. Love the believers as you would love your family. Obey God as your master. Respect the king.
18 You who are slaves must obey your masters. Always respect them. Do that to every kind of master. Obey those who are good and kind. But also obey masters who are not fair to you. 19 This makes God happy. Maybe your master will punish you when you have done nothing wrong. If you know that you are serving God, continue to be patient and brave. 20 But if you do something wrong, then your master ought to punish you. That is only fair. Even if you are brave when he is cruel to you, nobody should praise you for that. But your master may punish you even when you have done good things. Then God will be happy if you are patient and brave. 21 When God chose you to be his servants, he wanted you to be brave like that. Christ had trouble and pain on your behalf. He has shown you how you should live when trouble comes. 22 The Bible says this:
‘He never did anything that was wrong.
He never said anything that was not true.’
23 People insulted Christ, but he did not say any bad thing to answer them. People caused him to have trouble, but he never tried to hurt them in return. Instead, Christ trusted God to help him. He knew that God always judges people fairly. 24 When Christ died on the cross, he carried our sins in his own body. He took this punishment so that sin would no longer rule over us. Instead, we can now do the right things that God wants us to do. Because people hurt Christ's body, you have now become well. 25 Before, you were like sheep that were going the wrong way. But now you have turned round and come to Christ. He is your Shepherd, and he keeps you completely safe.
2:24‘Well’ means that we become well in our spirits.