18 Servants, be submissive to your masters with all fear, not only to the good and gentle, but also to the harsh. 19 For this is commendable, if because of conscience toward God one endures grief, suffering wrongfully. 20 For what credit is it if, when you are beaten for your faults, you take it patiently? But when you do good and suffer, if you take it patiently, this is commendable before God. 21 For to this you were called, because Christ also suffered for us,[f]leaving us[g] an example, that you should follow His steps:
22 “Who committed no sin,
Nor was deceit found in His mouth”; [h]
23 who, when He was reviled, did not revile in return; when He suffered, He did not threaten, but committed Himself to Him who judges righteously; 24 who Himself bore our sins in His own body on the tree, that we, having died to sins, might live for righteousness—by whose stripes you were healed. 25 For you were like sheep going astray, but have now returned to the Shepherd and Overseer[i] of your souls. 1 Peter 2:18-25
The apostle Peter is addressing the relationship between indentured servants and their masters. In the Roman empire almost half of the empire were bondservants and were often placed their because of a debt that needed to be paid. The command is to be submissive to all those both those who were kind and those who were harsh. This would apply to us today because it speaks to the relationship between employee and employer.
At some point in your life you have probably worked for someone that either was unfair or treated you harshly. It has happened to all of us and how we respond in that situation speaks volumes to our relationship with Jesus Christ. It is commendable in God’s kingdom if we suffer for doing the right thing and endure under it.
Jesus told us in this life we will be falsely accused and mistreated. When people find out we are a believer in Christ they may persecute us because of the name of Jesus. Now if we face punishment or suffering because we have done something wrong then that is rightly deserved. But if we suffer for the name of Jesus and for doing that which is right a great reward awaits us in God’s kingdom.
Jesus is our Lord and Savior and He is our ultimate example. Jesus was perfect and sinless. Everything He did was done in love and in the end He died upon the cross for our sins. He didn’t deserve the punishment He endured, but He went through it because it was the will of the Father.
The same stands for us who follow after Him. In this life we will suffer for the name of Jesus. We will be rejected, falsely accused, hated, persecuted, and may even give our lives for the sake of His kingdom. But through it all our eyes must be fixed upon the Lord and His kingdom. This world is not our home and great rewards await those in His kingdom who are faithful to follow the Lord and suffer for His name.
All of us before we come to Christ are lost sheep without a shepherd. But when we come into relationship with Jesus Christ we are adopted into God’s family and will one day spend all eternity in God’s kingdom. The world we live in is a wicked and dark place. Our hope should never be placed in the life here and now. Our hope is always placed upon Jesus and His coming kingdom. We should never live and pursue the rewards of this life. Our true rewards will be found one day in the Lord’s kingdom. May we hold fast to the faith we have and prepare our hearts daily for the soon coming return of Jesus Christ.