1 Peter 2:21-23

1 Peter 2:21‑23  •  5 min. read  •  grade level: 5
The place of suffering is enforced for the Christian, to the special comfort of Christian servants, by that of Christ Himself.
“For to this were ye called; because Christ also suffered for you,1 leaving you2 a model that ye should follow up his steps; who did no sin, neither was guile found in his mouth; who when reviled did not again revile, when suffering did not threaten, but gave over to him that judgeth righteously” (vers. 21-23).
The world's relations to the saints, whether servants or not, is made unequivocally plain. So it was even for the apostles. “I have given them thy word, and the world hated them, because they are not of the world, even as I am not of the world” (John 17:1414I have given them thy word; and the world hath hated them, because they are not of the world, even as I am not of the world. (John 17:14).) “If the world hateth you, ye know it hath hated me before [it hated] you. If ye were of the world, the world would love its own, but I chose you out of the world: therefore the world hateth you. No bondman is above his Lord: if they persecuted me, they will also persecute you; if they kept my word, they will keep yours also (15:18-20).” If it be trying as it surely is, how great is the moral honor of “such association with Christ!” “For to this were ye called.” God allowed, overruled, and used it for the good of His children here below.
Earlier still, and more widely, had the Lord made known His will, God's will. “But I say to you that hear, Love your enemies, do good to those that hate you; help those that curse you, pray for those that use you despitefully. To him that smiteth you on the cheek offer also the other; and from him that taketh thy coat forbid not thy coat also. To everyone that asketh of thee give; and from him that taketh away thy things ask them not back; and as ye wish that men should do to you, do ye also to them likewise. For if ye love them that love you, what thank (grace) have ye? for even sinners love those that love them. And if ye do good to them that do you good, what thank have ye? for even sinners do the same. And if ye lend [to them] from whom ye hope to receive, what thank have ye? for sinners also lend to sinners that they may receive back as much. But love your enemies and do good, hoping for nothing back; and your reward shall be great, and ye shall be sons of [the] Highest; for he is kind to the thankless and wicked. Be ye therefore merciful even as your Father is merciful” (Luke 6:27-3627But I say unto you which hear, Love your enemies, do good to them which hate you, 28Bless them that curse you, and pray for them which despitefully use you. 29And unto him that smiteth thee on the one cheek offer also the other; and him that taketh away thy cloke forbid not to take thy coat also. 30Give to every man that asketh of thee; and of him that taketh away thy goods ask them not again. 31And as ye would that men should do to you, do ye also to them likewise. 32For if ye love them which love you, what thank have ye? for sinners also love those that love them. 33And if ye do good to them which do good to you, what thank have ye? for sinners also do even the same. 34And if ye lend to them of whom ye hope to receive, what thank have ye? for sinners also lend to sinners, to receive as much again. 35But love ye your enemies, and do good, and lend, hoping for nothing again; and your reward shall be great, and ye shall be the children of the Highest: for he is kind unto the unthankful and to the evil. 36Be ye therefore merciful, as your Father also is merciful. (Luke 6:27‑36)).
It is Christ practically, and the manifestation of the Father's character reproduced in His children. Nothing less palpable or more absurd than to expect such a character in fallen man as such, that is, in the world; nothing less is what the Lord looks for from those that are His. Who is sufficient for these things? Our sufficiency is from God. Do not doubt Him, nor allow to unbelief that these are bygone things. They become and bind the Christian at all times. And so we read here, “because Christ also suffered for you.” Was this to dispense with our suffering? On the contrary He suffered for you, “leaving you a model, (or, copy) that ye should follow up his steps.”
The saint needs an object from God to form our souls and fashion our ways. And He sets before us Christ. What or who can compare with Him? Flaws were in the best of saints at their best, think of Peter, Paul, John. Christ “did no sin, neither was guile found in his mouth.” Christ “when reviled did not revile again; when suffering, did not threaten, but gave over to him that judgeth righteously.” Who among his most bitter foes that sought every occasion ever convicted Him of sin? He always did the things that pleased His Father, and never once did any will but His, the lowliest of men, yet above the highest. For there is nothing so lowly as obedience; nor is there anything so pure and morally elevating as ever obeying God. He and He only was “His righteous servant,” He absolutely and perfectly.
It has not been shown as far as I am aware that the word rapa admits of the reflexive sense, good as it would be in itself, that is, of meaning “gave himself over.” Hence various modes of supplying the ellipse have been proposed. But why should it not be rendered, though a little rugged, as it seems used, absolutely? So we find in Mark 4:2929But when the fruit is brought forth, immediately he putteth in the sickle, because the harvest is come. (Mark 4:29), where there seems no need of rendering, “is brought forth” or “provided.” Why not “should permit”? See Pind. P. v. 4; and Demosth. 1394. 23 even for the aorist; which A. Buttmann oddly denies. The present, &c. are common as in Herod. vii. 15; Xen. Anab. vi. 4, 34; Isocr. 106 C.; Polyb. xxii. 24, 9, as given by Liddell & Scott.