Pastor Curtis A. May
Anger, revenge, and not what would Jesus do, but rather what “did” Jesus do.
Sermon for April 30, 2023
1 Peter 2:19–20a 19This is a gracious thing, when, mindful of God, one endures sorrows while suffering unjustly. 20aFor what credit is it if, when you sin and are beaten for it, you endure?
Some grew up with spankings, slaps, belts, anger, groundings, and insults. Some grew to accept the punishment and hope that after the punishment was over, life could go on, at least until the next time. You knew for the most part that you deserved the punishment so there was no glory in the suffering you endured.
Oh, there are many that get angry at others for the consequences they brought on to themselves. But deep down inside of each of us, is knowing when we deserved what we received for our sin. One person I knew said if you’re going to play know that you will eventually have to pay. Nothing from this world is free including sin.
Anger, I know this one for a fact. Anger makes the people around you suffer, and sparks others to anger and makes all who are angry suffer as well. Anger does not always bring glory to God. I say this because Jesus showed anger even with the use of a homemade whip.
1 Peter 2:20b 20bBut if when you do good and suffer for it you endure, this is a gracious thing in the sight of God.
Some may suffer unjustly for being in the wrong place at the wrong time, the right place at the wrong time, or the wrong place at the right time. Though this does warrant credit, it certainly requires endurance, of which many have unjustly suffered. Maybe more credit should be given to those who endured and never escaped unjust punishment.
However, it is when someone truly does something good and does it in a good way and suffers for it, that it glorifies God. For we belong to God, and we should at all times live our lives for Him who created us. God the Father, the creator, and the provider is always glorified when we act within His will, that is, when we truly do things in His Name.
1 Peter 2:21 21For to this you have been called, because Christ also suffered for you, leaving you an example, so that you might follow in his steps.
What better way to follow our Lord Jesus than to do good even when it means to suffer for it. Most people think they deserve something in return for their kindness. But those who can be good for nothing have a better chance to glorify God than those who are good for something. It is the good for nothings who follow Jesus Christ.
Play on words? Do you know that your judgement alone makes you suffer more than the one you judge? That is one of the consequences of your sin of judgement. Amazingly that the suffering you cause yourself does not bring glory to God or credit to you. I think I want to be good for nothing.
Jesus is the example to follow more so than anyone else. Though we try to hold others to our expectations, Jesus is the only one that can live up to them. That is, if your expectations follow the will of God.
We must, I think, be diligently studying Jesus our Christ to know how to follow Him. It is not so much that we ask, what would Jesus do, but rather what “did” Jesus do. You see, to follow Jesus is to serve the same justice He serves to you. Forgiveness.
1 Peter 2:22–23 22He committed no sin, neither was deceit found in his mouth. 23When 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.
Justification according to man is to punish those who sin. Justification according to Christ Jesus is to forgive, help one repent, and repeat. For each life Jesus wants to share in the inheritance of eternal life. Jesus did not revile in return because it had no purpose as it would change nothing that would happen to Him.
If Jesus had reviled in return to those who crucified Him, it would have changed the way those who believed in Him thought of Him. Just to be clear I am no saintly savior, I’m just another reluctant follower like you, though I deserve to suffer, Jesus makes me deserving, of His forgiveness, grace and mercy. Jesus was truly unjustly crucified and what made it worse is that those crucifying Jesus did not know He was dying for all sin past, present, and future to assure Heaven will be populated by the forgiven children of God.
1 Peter 2:24 24He himself bore our sins in his body on the tree, that we might die to sin and live to righteousness. By his wounds you have been healed.
Jesus justified His actions and bore our sins justly for our sake, but He died unjustly because we sin. But Jesus died to forgive us and cloth us in His good and perfect righteousness. Not that Jesus died because He wanted to be martyred but that He died to save God’s creation. God said when He created Adam and Eve that this is good. And though Adam and Eve fell to sin God put into place a plan to save His creation from sin, the devil, and death.
1 Peter 2:25 25For you were straying like sheep, but have now returned to the Shepherd and Overseer of your souls.
Jesus Christ is our Shepherd, our Overseer of souls and leads us to eternal life, everlasting relationship, and to be the living children of God the Father. Amen.
Written by Pastor Curtis May.