21 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. 22 He committed no sin, neither was deceit found in his mouth. 23 When he was reviled, he did not revile in return; when he suffered, he did not threaten, but continued entrusting himself to him who judges justly” (I Peter 2:21-23).
What example has Jesus set for us when we encounter suffering and persecution for our faith in Christ? How did Jesus respond to the persecutions He encountered? Once we see how our Lord reacted, it will give us a clear understanding of how we should react when facing tribulation.
Peter writes that when Jesus was reviled, He did not revile in return. The word reviled (λοιδορέω; loidereo) means to be slandered, strongly insulted and abused. Jesus received all manner of such abuse when He ministered for three years. However, He did not slander, strongly insult or abuse others in retaliation. Jesus was the perfect example of patient submission when He faced unjust suffering.
Peter goes on to say that when Jesus suffered (πάσχω; pascho) or experienced pain, He did not threaten (ἀπειλέω; apeileo) those who were inflicting Him with the pain. Jesus did not get mad and He did not get even.
Jesus also kept entrusting (παραδίδωμι; paradidomi) Himself over to the Father who judges justly. Jesus trusted, depended, was committed to and worshiped the Father all the while He was being persecuted.
One pastor writes, “Humanly speaking, the provocation to retaliate during Christ’s arrest, trial, and crucifixion was extreme. Yet He suffered in silence, committing Himself to God. Peter explained (1 Peter 2:24) why the One who could have destroyed His enemies with a word patiently endured the pain and humiliation of the Cross. God was justly judging our sins which His Son bore (2 Cor. 5:21).”
When facing unjust suffering and persecution for your faith in Christ, look to Jesus. Look to Jesus not only to see His example of patient endurance, but note that His suffering brought you by grace alone, through faith alone in Jesus Christ alone into the kingdom of God and for God to declare you righteous.
Soli deo Gloria!