Following Christ’s Example (1 Peter 2:18-25)

Slaves, submit yourselves to your masters with all respect, not only to those who are good and considerate, but also to those who are harsh. 19 For it is commendable if a man bears up under the pain of unjust suffering because he is conscious of God. 20 But how is it to your credit if you receive a beating for doing wrong and endure it? But if you suffer for doing good and you endure it, this is commendable before God. 21 To this you were called, because Christ suffered for you, leaving you an example, that you should follow in his steps.

22 “He committed no sin and no deceit was found in his mouth.”

23 When they hurled their insults at him, he did not retaliate; when he suffered, he made no threats. Instead, he entrusted himself to him who judges justly. 24 He himself bore our sins in his body on the tree, so that we might die to sins and live for righteousness; by his wounds you have been healed. 25 For you were like sheep going astray, but now you have returned to the Shepherd and Overseer of your souls.  (1 Peter 2:18-25)

Peter is still on this theme of submission.  He starts out by describing how slaves should be submissive to their masters.  Slavery back then was a little different than what it looked like compared to American history.  While in some scenarios slaves were treated well there was still a lot of bad things happening to them.  While Peter does not condemn or condone slavery he tells believers how they should act in that scenario.  They should be obedient whether their master is good or bad to them.  This then can apply to any person and who they work for.  Peter just starts with an example that is extreme.  No matter who you work for you need to submit to them.  We are told that if you do what is right and experience suffering you will be rewarded by God.  This reward is going to be received to you in the end times.  If you suffer because you have acted wrongly then you will receive nothing.  We are called to endure suffering and to never wish harm or judgment on our enemies.

Peter then goes into showing us how Christ lived this out in his life.  He never retaliated or made threats against those that persecuted them.  Even when he was hanging on the cross he pleaded with God the Father that they would be shown mercy.  It is through his loving example that we are saved.  God is our Shepherd and Overseer which means he has authority in our lives.  We should want to do the things he has done for us.  He suffered a lot even though he was innocent.  We should also be willing to suffer for his name.  Suffering is not something any person looks forward to.  In Scripture, we are told that we are going to face persecution and suffering.  When it happens because of our faith we should rejoice.  We want to glorify God with our lives and we do not want to be timid about our faith.  As long as we are living out our faith in a loving way we can have confidence that we are glorifying God.