#DailyDevotion When Wronged What Did Jesus Do?
1 Peter 219It is a fine thing if, moved by your conscience to please God, you suffer patiently when wronged. 20What credit is it to you if you sin and patiently take a beating for it? But if you suffer for doing good and take it patiently, God is pleased with you. 21This is what you were called for, seeing that Christ also suffered for you and left you an example for you to follow in His steps. 22He never sinned nor was found to be deceiving when He spoke. 23When others abused Him, He didn’t abuse them; when He suffered, He didn’t threaten but left it in the hands of Him Who judges fairly.
If you do something wrong, you should expect to get punished for doing it. What a crazy concept, right? You get not credit as a Christian if you are breaking the law (even a law you think is unjust) and you get a beating for it and you bear the beating patiently. In the context of the day one could think of getting arrested for holding church services when ordered not to during a pandemic. No, unless you are forbidden to do something God has commanded us to do or to do something God has forbidden (the apostles in Acts were forbidden to ever preach Jesus’ name) we should obey the authorities.
There may though come times in your life when you are called to do something by the government or your employer which is wrong, immoral, unethical and opposed to the will of God. St. Peter here is commending the Christians in his day and to us also today to suffer when wronged. On the one hand he is talking about being punished for doing what is right. So they refused to worship the emperor or his image. They refused to worship the gods of their masters, relatives and friends. Because of this they often were persecuted.
On the other hand, because the Christians in Peter’s day were much more pacifist than we ever were or are, they often suffered because of false accusations. They also did not seek retribution when they were falsely accused. Because of the false accusations hurled at them from there fellow citizens, even family, they often lost house, home, land, animals and all they had. To such experiences, Peter commends them for patiently bearing with it. He holds up Jesus as our and their example to follow.
Jesus suffered for you and left and example to follow in his steps. Jesus did not retaliate against his accusers. Jesus didn’t hurl back insults to those who insulted him (though he is LORD and God). Jesus didn’t sin or was found to be deceiving when he did speak (which wasn’t much during his trial and execution). Jesus did not abuse those who abused him. Jesus didn’t even threaten those who sent him to his death, mocked him on the cross and left him to die an innocent man. Instead Jesus asked the Father to forgive them and left their fates in the Father’s hands.
This is the model, the example Peter gives us to follow in our own lives, in our own days. Probably one of the few places we can actually ask, “What would Jesus do or what did he do” is when we actually suffer for being Christians and doing Christian things. He suffered it. Go and do likewise.
Heavenly Father, grant us the gift of patience in the midst of suffering wrongly. And grant us your wisdom in knowing the difference when we should obey you rather than those in authority over us so we may suffer with Jesus rightly. In Jesus’ name we pray. Amen.