Following Christ's Footsteps

OPENING PRAYER

Jesus, You became the lowest of all slaves, giving up all Your rights. Help me to walk after You.

 

Read: 1 PETER 2:18-25

[18] Slaves, in reverent fear of God submit yourselves to your masters, not only to those who are good and considerate, but also to those who are harsh. [19] For it is commendable if someone bears up under the pain of unjust suffering because they are 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 cross, 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.

 

Reflect: WHAT "RIGHTS" DO YOU TEND TO INSIST ON?

Living in an alien environment is challenging. When that environment follows different moral codes or seems to have no moral code, the challenge is even greater. Peter looks at how Christians should react in such situations. Two domestic issues are highlighted–we’ll look at one today and one next time.First, Peter writes to Christians who are slaves, an accepted situation in those times. So he’s not looking at the rights or wrongs of slavery but only at the attitudes of Christian slaves. The word he uses for “slave” is one that could apply to anyone who isn’t the boss. Why should we respect bosses even when they treat us more harshly than others in similar situations (18)? Because, says Peter, it’s what Jesus did (21-23). Peter watched from afar as Jesus was humiliated, beaten, and crucified in spite of having committed no sin (22,24). Peter saw how Jesus reacted without retaliation or resentment. Instead of looking out for “number one,” Peter urges us to follow the example of Christ, who laid aside his rights and entrusted himself fully to his heavenly Father’s judgment (23).

 

APPLY

Pray for those in authority (even if they act unjustly). Also pray for your employers and your church leaders.

 

CLOSING PRAYER

Father, help me see You and entrust myself to You when my rights are not regarded by others.

 

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