“Servants, be subject to your masters with all respect, not only to the good and gentle but also to the unjust. For this is a gracious thing, when, mindful of God, one endures sorrows while suffering unjustly. For what credit is it if, when you sin and are beaten for it, you endure? But if when you do good and suffer for it you endure, this is a gracious thing in the sight of God. For to this you have been called, because Christ also suffered for you, leaving you an example, so that you might follow in his steps.” (1 Peter 2:18–21 ESV)
Jesus: Our Example of Serving and Suffering
Peter says a most extraordinary thing. Doing good and suffering for it is not just a possibility, it is our calling. Why? Because this is exactly what Jesus did for us. He obeyed and suffered for it.
Get this. Who’s the bully boss in Jesus’ life? Who is the tyrant? Who mistreated Jesus when he wouldn’t compromise his integrity? Wouldn’t turn the stones to bread? Wouldn’t throw himself down from the corner temple? We look at being a Christian at US Steel or a student at Purdue Cal like it’s the ultimate example of a hard place for a Christian to be a Christian. It pales in comparison to what Jesus did when he came and suffered by us and for us.
Jesus was the ultimate exile. Talk about being out of your element. He wasn’t a fish out of water; he was a King without his glory; the Lord without his observable majesty.
Yet he came here and worked in the Company of Mankind. Did he see things wrong with the management around here? Did he have helpful suggestions to improve the place that went unheeded? What about his salary? Why did the company of man hate him so much? Was it job performance? Was he lazy? Did he lack the skills necessary? Did he need training?
What cause did Jesus give the Company of Man to mistreat him? Hate him? Beat him? Flog him? Despise him? Kill him?
Upper management wanted him gone but you don’t fire God when he comes to earth. You don’t put him on administrative leave. The only thing you can do when God is working for you and you don’t want him anymore, is to kill him. That is what the management did. This in spite of all the wonderful good he did for the company! Now that doesn’t seem fair, does it? He created the company. He worked for free. He fed the company. He healed the hurts of the company. He supplied the company with everything it needed for life.
For the very company you created, loved, served, taught, fed, and healed—for that company to turn on you and kill you—that must be wrong even in God’s eyes.
If management fires you but God hires you back by raising you from the dead and then puts you on the highest throne of management and gives a title that is above every name, it would mean that in the eyes of God, willing and respectful service to even bad authority over you when done for God’s sake, is glorious in the eyes of God. Jesus is our example.
So when your boss demeans you, mistreats you, overlooks you, disrespects you—but you do good for the company anyway, all you are doing is following in his steps. The steps of the life of Jesus. The most wonderful and glorious life ever lived.
Scripture quotations are taken from The Holy Bible, English Standard Version, copyright © 2001 by Crossway Bibles, a division of Good News Publishers. Used by permission. All rights reserved.
©2015 Steve DeWitt. You are permitted and encouraged to reproduce and distribute this material in any format provided that: (1) you credit the author, (2) any modifications are clearly marked, (3) you do not charge a fee beyond the cost of reproduction, (4) you include Bethel’s website address (www.bethelweb.org) on the copied resource.
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