Thursday Dec. 21, 2017
Scripture reference 1 Peter 2:
8 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.
- I love the way Peter sets this passage up, he commends slaves to be submissive to their Masters, even harsh ones out of reverent fear of God.
- Now many wonder about the whole slave question and what the Bible has to say about slavery and let me say that in no way does the New Testament endorse slavery any more so than it supports male chauvinism, however what the Christian ethic as revealed in the New Testament does encourage, even mandates is a life lived in submission to Almighty God!
- Peter is not endorsing slavery here! What Peter is however doing is instructing very real people who are in very real life situations about how they should live their lives while in that situation. This is a very difficult concept for 21st century, western minded person to even begin to digest but for the first century, Middle Eastern person this was an important and very relevant message.
- Sometimes slaves were mistreated and even abused by their Masters/owners. Peter had a message for those individuals and it was not a message we might readily expect. Peter’s message was for such individuals to endure/persevere even in the face of unjust treatment. For many Peter’s words might seem outrageous, however to whom or to what example does Peter point to in support of His exhortation?
- Let’s be a little brutally honest here, there is a lot of hypocrisy in the church today; we claim to love and want to follow Jesus, but when it comes to actually following His example we cry, Injustice! Abuse! “I don’t have to take this!” We give up before we have even begun to put up! We quit before we ever began to commit! The Bible says, “it is commendable if someone bears up under the pain of unjust suffering because they are conscious of God“, but not too many are willing to live this ethic out for fear they will in fact, actually lose out. How can we lose out when we choose to trust God? Where does such a notion come from? Think about it. More tomorrow.