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.”[a]
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,”[b] but now you have returned to the Shepherd and Overseer of your souls. – I Peter 2:18 – 25
The earlier readings this week concerning the attitude and actions of Christian workers and employers, now narrows its focus on bearing up under a harsh boss. Note slaves enjoyed similar rights to workers back then.
I’m sure we can all think of an example of a harsh boss! My experience was more one of humiliation in that I experienced a lack of trust, despite an enormous effort to do the job well on my part. Although I did bear up under the pain, my retaliation was to justify myself to my boss and subtly complain to other remote superiors who were sympathetic to my predicament. As the passage today shows, this was completely the wrong attitude and action.
When Jesus suffered a physical and emotional humiliation which outweighs the world, he did not justify himself, retaliate or seek revenge, but let God be his judge and justifier. Jesus took our wrongdoings on his body on the cross, so that we can be forgiven and live at peace with God and men. As we accept his sacrifice for us, and receive his forgiveness, we can now return to work and live for our ultimate boss and Lord, Jesus Christ.
Sean Kluyts – Creek Road Campus