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Scripture Reading: 1 Peter 2:18-25
The Example of Christ in Suffering
1. Defining “suffering” might seem easy, but not necessarily.
a. Physical bullying, oppression, ailment, disease…
b. Emotional bullying, distresses, instability, etc.
c. Spiritual suffering, 2 Cor. 11:28-29; 1 Pet. 4:16.
d. Socio-economically defined (Illus. “1st, 2nd & 3rd world”) Homeless, hungry, oppressed v. perceived entitlement (1 Tim. 6:6-10).
2. Then again, some think they are suffering if they don’t have high-speed Wi-Fi!
3. Jesus faced suffering and overcome it, 1 Pet. 2:21-24. He is our example to overcome suffering (whatever form it takes).
I. WHAT JESUS COULD HAVE DONE WHEN HE SUFFERED.
A. Immediately Destroyed Jerusalem Instead of Crying Over It, Lk. 19:41-44.
B. Compelled Submission Instead of Establishing His Strength through the Weak (triumphal entry, etc.), Matt. 21:14-16; Psa. 8:2.
C. Called Down Heaven’s Army When Arrested Instead of Handing Himself Over, Matt. 26:50-54.
D. Come Down from the Cross Instead of Enduring It, Matt. 27:39-44; Heb. 12:2.
II. WHAT JESUS ACTUALLY DID (He was patient, 1 Pet. 2:20), Isa. 53:7.
A. He Did Not Sin, 2:21-22.
B. He Did Not Retaliate, 2:23.
1. Did not become bitter, Lk. 23:34.
2. Did not threaten, Jno. 19:10-11. Held his tongue from sin.
3. Committed Himself to righteous judgment of God, cf. Lk. 23:46; Jno. 12:48; Matt. 23:38-39.
a. Completely submitted to the Father’s will and His judgment.
b. Yielded to the abuse and injustice, Jno. 19:1-4.
C. He Served Others (Us) Who Needed His Help, 2:24; cf. Jno. 12:27.
1. Focused on us and our needs instead of Himself, Lk. 23:39-43; Jno. 19:25-27.
2. Focused on doing the Father’s will (Matt. 26:39).
D. He Prayed, Heb. 5:7.
E. He Learned Obedience, Heb. 5:8. (Our lesson, 1 Pet. 2:19-20).
F. He Forgave Those Who Sinned Against Him, Lk. 23:34, 43.
III. WHAT ARE WE TEMPTED TO DO (AND OFTEN DO) WHEN WE SUFFER? 1 Pet. 2:18-20
A. To Murmur and Complain, Phil. 2:14-15.
1. Job, Job 3:1-3 (day he was born); Against God, Job 9:21-24.
2. God explained things to Job, Job 42:1-6.
B. To Become Embittered, Heb. 12:14-15.
-Cares that come with suffering can crowd out God’s word, Mk. 4:18-19.
C. To Try to Retaliate (revenge), Rom. 12:17-19 (evil for evil).
1. To punish and vindicate (“repay”), Matt. 5:39; 1 Pet. 3:9.
2. Demand reparation (that we define, cf. 1 Cor. 6:5-7).
D. To Refuse to Forgive, Matt. 18:32-35.
1. Whether real or perceived, we refuse to forgive, and doom ourselves (Matt. 6:15).
2. Jesus forgave when crucified, Lk. 23:34.
1. We were called by the gospel to commit ourselves to God, the righteous judge, and to endure suffering patiently, 1 Pet. 2:19-20.
2. Under the guidance of the Good Shepherd and the care of the Overseer of our souls, we can follow Christ’s example successfully, 1 Pet. 2:25.
By: Joe R. Price
Posted December 31, 2018