Sermon Illustrations

1 Peter 2:21-23 21 For you have been called for this purpose, since Christ also suffered for you, leaving you an example for you to follow in His steps, 22 who committed no sin, nor was any deceit found in His mouth; 23 and while being reviled, He did not revile in return; while suffering, He uttered no threats, but kept entrusting Himself to Him who judges righteously; (NAU)

This characteristic was well demonstrated by John Selwyn, a missionary in the South Pacific some years ago. While in a university, Selwyn became renowned for his boxing skills and great strength. During his years in the South Pacific, he had occasion to strongly rebuke a native, and that native struck him violently across his face. Selwyn responded by folding his arms and looking intently into the eyes of the native, who realized that Selwyn could easily have knocked him cold. But Selwyn made not the slightest effort to retaliate and simply gazed at him with loving concern. The native ran into the jungle, too ashamed to face this missionary. Several years after John Selwyn had returned home, that same native came forward to confess Christ and be baptized by Selwyn’s replacement. When asked what new name he wished to be called by, the native replied, "Call me John Selwyn, for it was he who taught me what Jesus Christ is like.." May the same be said of us!

From David Scudder’s Sermon: Caring Enough to Confront