1 Peter 2. Forum Discussion

Suffering: Jesus' example

Chapter 2 is a relatively short chapter comprised of only 25 verses.   In it, Peter talks about:

  • How like newborn babes we are to, “Long for the pure milk of the word.”
  • How Christ is the cornerstone of the Church.
  • Honoring authority.
  • And Christ’s perfect example.

For today’s forum, we are going to be taking a deeper look at verses 21-25:

“For you have been called for this purpose, since Christ also suffered for you, leaving you an example for you to follow in His steps, who committed no sin, nor was any deceit found in His mouth;  and while being reviled, He did not revile in return; while suffering, He uttered no threats, but kept entrusting Himself to Him who judges righteously;  and He Himself bore our sins in His body on the cross, so that we might die to sin and live to righteousness; for by His wounds you were healed.  For you were continually straying like sheep, but now you have returned to the Shepherd and Guardian of your souls.”

Jesus suffered greatly on the cross. He was willing to do this because He loves us. But there are things that He commands us to do in return. One of the things that Jesus commands us to do is to mirror His example on how to handle suffering.

The Bible tells us that we are all going to suffer. Suffering is a part of life, especially for Christians. If anybody became a Christian because they thought that would make their lives easy, they are in for a surprise! In this life, we should expect to suffer.

Paul wrote about this in 2 Timothy 3:12:

“Indeed, all who desire to live godly in Christ Jesus will be persecuted.

To be persecuted means, “To subject (someone) to hostility and ill-treatment, especially because of their race or political or religious beliefs.

Those who follow Jesus are going to be on the receiving end of some bad behavior. Think about how Jesus was treated!  His life was far from easy, even before the crucifixion. But He came to earth to experience what life feels like from a human perspective. Jesus wants to teach us how to handle suffering. He does this through His example and through the inspired word of God.

Our suffering and Jesus’ suffering are related. Peter talks about this in 1 Peter 2:21-23:

“Since Christ also suffered for you, leaving you an example for you to follow in His steps,  who committed no sin, nor was any deceit found in His mouth;  and while being reviled, He did not revile in return; while suffering, He uttered no threats, but kept entrusting Himself to Him who judges righteously.”

JESUS’ EXAMPLE ON HOW TO HANDLE SUFFERING

  • When people reviled Jesus (to criticize in an abusive or hostile way), He did not revile in return.
  • While suffering, Jesus uttered no threats.
  • Jesus entrusted Himself to God - to “Him who judges righteously”.

Now that we understand His example, He wants us to follow it. When we are attacked with words, Jesus does not want us to retaliate. Instead, He wants us to, “Turn the other cheek.” In His sermon on the mount, Jesus said:

“You have heard that it was said, ‘An eye for an eye, and a tooth for a tooth.’  But I say to you, do not resist an evil person; but whoever slaps you on your right cheek, turn the other to him also.” – Mathew 5:38-39. 

This will seem odd to most people. It will not be the response that they are expecting, and it is a great opportunity to glorify God!

Let us return to our focus verse for today’s lesson:

“For you have been called for this purpose, since Christ also suffered for you, leaving you an example for you to follow in His steps, who committed no sin, nor was any deceit found in His mouth;  and while being reviled, He did not revile in return; while suffering, He uttered no threats, but kept entrusting Himself to Him who judges righteously;  and He Himself bore our sins in His body on the cross, so that we might die to sin and live to righteousness; for by His wounds you were healed.  For you were continually straying like sheep, but now you have returned to the Shepherd and Guardian of your souls.” – 1 Peter 2:21-25.

What purpose is Paul talking about at the beginning of that passage that we have been called for? To understand the answer to that question, we need to go back a few verses to 1 Peter 2:18-20:

“Servants, be submissive to your masters with all respect, not only to those who are good and gentle, but also to those who are unreasonable.  For this finds favor, if for the sake of conscience toward God a person bears up under sorrows when suffering unjustly. For what credit is there if, when you sin and are harshly treated, you endure it with patience? But if when you do what is right and suffer for it you patiently endure it; this finds favor with God.”

THAT is the purpose that we have been called for! God wants us to stand out to the world by following Jesus’ example on how to handle suffering. We are called to do this, even when we are suffering unjustly. When those that have power or authority over us are treating us badly, the world is expecting us to push back. But that is not what Jesus did. That is not how Jesus SHOWED us to respond to suffering.

Remember Jesus’ example?

  • When people reviled Jesus, He did not revile in return.
  • While suffering, Jesus uttered no threats.
  • Jesus entrusted Himself to God - to “Him who judges righteously”.

There is an old saying, “If it is to be, it is up to me.”

Mirroring Jesus’ example on how to handle suffering is what we are called to do. It will seem strange, or different to the world, and it will not be easy.  That is ok. It is in the darkness that light shines the brightest. Thank you, Jesus, for teaching us how you want us to handle the suffering that we go through in life. We pray Father, through Jesus, for the strength to follow the example of Jesus when we are suffering.

Thank you for joining us today. Please join us again tomorrow as we look at 1 Peter 3 and the different roles that husbands and wives have. May God’s blessings be upon you until then. Amen

Comments

Virtual Bible Study

Why do you think God allows good people to suffer?

Reply
Michael
Virtual Bible Study

God disciplines those whom He loves (Hebrews 12:6).

Regarding suffering, Paul wrote, "Not only so, but we also glory in our sufferings, because we know that suffering produces perseverance; perseverance, character; and character, hope. And hope does not put us to shame, because God’s love has been poured out into our hearts through the Holy Spirit, who has been given to us." - Romans 5:3-5.

We learn and grow a lot through suffering.

"A smooth sea does not a sailor make."

Reply
Donna JesusFollower
Virtual Bible Study

Suffering allows us to practice being more like Jesus. During times of suffering we turn to God and continually trust Him who judges righteously. If God is forefront even during suffering, He will help guide our steps.

Reply
Tommy

Newborn babes desire milk out of instinct. They just somehow know they need it. I think what the scripture is telling us is that at our core, we know we need God and Jesus. We should just accept it like a baby accepts milk, and not get hung up on worldly lusts, possessions, etc.

Reply