Sunday, May 15, 2011

1 Peter 2:19–25

"But if you endure when you do right and suffer for it, you have God's approval." (1 Pet. 2:20b)

Peter exhorts his listeners to endure suffering gracefully. When read through a particular lens, this advice seems right. After all, he calls his community to follow a pattern set by Jesus himself. Jesus did not retaliate when abused. He did not curse when being cursed. He did not insist that he was responsible only for himself, but assumed the sins of the world.

This instruction is not unique to Peter. Language like his is found elsewhere in the New Testament: self-emptying language, self-denying language, language of endurance and perseverance in the face of persecution and hardship. While we contemporary Christians may be skittish with so much talk about suffering, we can at least hear Peter's words for what they appear to be: sincere counsel to those seeking to emulate the way of Jesus.


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