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The Christian’s Benchmark

by Esther Griggs

In 1 Peter 2:11-25, he describes the conduct of Christ followers living visible to the world. Their benchmark is Jesus Christ. When an example is needed for how to respond when suffering as neigbours, citizens or under another’s authority, we look to God’s Son. Jesus lived as a servant, who suffered, and has become the Shepherd of our souls.

A Servant

Jesus lived as a servant. Paul in his letter to the Philippians wrote, “… He made Himself of no reputation, taking the form of a servant,…” As Peter wrote to sojourners and pilgrims, we read the words of the writer to the Hebrews. He described living as strangers here while looking for an eternal city. Jesus sojourned here as a servant, to fulfill the word of God, to bring Him glory. Peter said, “For this is the will of God, that by doing good you may put to silence the ignorance of foolish men- as free, yet not using your liberty as a cloak for vice, but as servants of God.”

Who Suffered

He was a servant who suffered. Peter goes on to describe to his readers the style of conduct Jesus set forth as an example, “to follow in His steps.” He quoted the prophet Isaiah, “Who committed no sin, Nor was (deceit) found in His mouth.” The religious leaders of his day harshly criticized and condemned Jesus, but instead of threatening them, He trusted God to be the righteous judge. He “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.”

To Become Our Shepherd

Peter continued using an example that Jesus Himself used. Jesus is the Shepherd and Overseer of our souls. Jesus said, “I am the good shepherd. The good shepherd gives His life for the sheep.” Peter told his readers, “You have returned to the Overseer of your souls. You used to be sheep lost and wandering but not anymore.” Jesus Christ came as a servant to do God’s will. It involved a life of suffering in order to become the Shepherd of our souls. May our conduct follow in His footprints.

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