21 For to this you have been called, because Christ also suffered for you, leaving you an example, so that you should follow in his steps. 22 ‘He committed no sin, and no deceit was found in his mouth.’ 23 When he was abused, he did not return abuse; when he suffered, he did not threaten; but he entrusted himself to the one who judges justly. 24 He himself bore our sins in his body on the cross, so that, free from sins, we might live for righteousness; by his wounds you have been healed. 25 For you were going astray like sheep, but now you have returned to the shepherd and guardian of your souls.
I Peter 2:21-25
The book, In His Steps, is a publishing phenomenon. It was written by a minister, Charles Monroe Sheldon, and was first published in 1896, and at last count has sold more than 30 million copies. It has appeared in newspapers, comic books, plays, and has been translated into many languages, and become one of the most read and influential books in history.
The full title for the book is In His Steps: What Would Jesus Do? In more recent years the title has become the inspiration for bracelets, necklaces, and shirts, all asking, WWJD, or “What Would Jesus Do?” Set in the late 1800’s the novel tells the story of a self-satisfied Midwestern church that is challenged by a destitute man to live up to what they say they believe. The minister of the church, Rev. Harry Maxwell, then challenges his congregation not to do anything for a year without first asking, “What Would Jesus Do?” As a result, many lives are changed, and many also suffer for doing what Jesus would do.
In today’s text, the Apostle Peter also challenges readers to ask what would Jesus do, as he points us Jesus’ suffering: “because Christ also suffered for you, leaving you an example, so that you should follow in his steps.” The word translated “example,” is a vivid word in the original Greek (hupogrammon). The word literally means a “writing under,” and refers to a line of writing at the top of a tablet, or slate written by the teacher so that the child could write under it and make letters just like his teacher.
As followers of Jesus, he is our example. A quick-tempered Peter had lived with Jesus for three years, and had seen with his own eyes Jesus’ loving example for us: “When he was abused, he did not return abuse; when he suffered, he did not threaten; but he entrusted himself to the one who judges justly.”
Just as Jesus suffered, so in following Jesus we will also suffer. What better time is there than in this season of Lent, to give up seeking to get even? What better time than now to stop trying to settle old scores? What better time than today to let go all these things into our Father’s loving hands?
Soaking in Scripture…
Today’s Andy Moments…