In the first part of the passage (verse 3), Peter compares the desire for spiritual growth to the way that newborn babies crave pure milk for their physical growth and nourishment. He encourages believers to seek spiritual nourishment in order to grow in their faith and salvation.
The metaphor of newborn babies craving pure spiritual milk is meant to convey the idea that believers should have a strong desire for spiritual growth and nourishment. Just as babies need milk to grow and develop, believers need spiritual nourishment to grow in their faith and salvation. The "pure spiritual milk" that Peter refers to is likely a reference to the Word of God, which is described elsewhere in the Bible as nourishment for the soul.
Peter then goes on to say that believers have already tasted the goodness of the Lord, meaning that they have experienced God's love and grace in their lives. This experience should motivate them to continue seeking spiritual growth and maturity.
In verse 4, Peter introduces the concept of the "living Stone," which refers to Jesus Christ. He says that Jesus was rejected by humans but chosen by God and precious to him. This rejection by humans refers to Jesus' crucifixion and death, which was a rejection by many people at the time. However, God chose to raise him from the dead and exalt him, making him the cornerstone of the Christian faith.
In verse 5, Peter extends the metaphor of the living Stone to describe believers as "living stones" who are being built into a spiritual house. This spiritual house is the Church, which is made up of all believers who have put their faith in Jesus Christ. Peter also describes believers as a holy priesthood, meaning that they have direct access to God through Jesus Christ and can offer spiritual sacrifices to him.
The metaphor of living stones being built into a spiritual house is a continuation of the idea of believers being part of a spiritual family. Peter says that believers are like living stones that are being built into a spiritual house, with Jesus Christ as the cornerstone. This metaphor emphasizes the unity and interconnectedness of believers in the Church, and it also highlights the importance of Jesus Christ as the foundation and cornerstone of the Church.
The idea of believers as a holy priesthood is also significant, as it reinforces the idea that believers have direct access to God through Jesus Christ and can offer spiritual sacrifices to him. In the Old Testament, the priesthood was a special group of people who were set apart to serve God in the Temple. However, in the New Testament, believers are described as a "royal priesthood" (1 Peter 2:9) because of their direct access to God through Jesus Christ.
The book of 1 Peter was written by the Apostle Peter to encourage and strengthen believers who were facing persecution and hardship. In the preceding verses, Peter tells his readers that they have been born again through faith in Jesus Christ and that they have an inheritance that is imperishable, undefiled, and unfading. He then exhorts them to live holy lives in light of their salvation.
Overall, this passage is meant to encourage and strengthen our faith, reminding us of the importance of spiritual growth, the unity of believers in the Church, and our role as a holy priesthood. It , reminds us of the goodness of the Lord, and emphasizes our role as living stones in the Church, with Jesus Christ as the cornerstone.
See also: vs 6
1 Peter 2:3-5. You have tasted that the Lord is gracious: coming to him, a living stone, rejected indeed by men, but chosen by God, precious. You also, as living stones, are built up as a spiritual house, to be a holy priesthood, to offer up spiritual sacrifices, acceptable to God through Jesus Christ.