Summary: Jesus Christ is perfect in so many ways. Peter explains to us how He is the only example we should follow.
A couple with especially irregular church attendance had been asked by their preacher to host a visiting minister for lunch. The couple obliged and put together a very special meal for the guest preacher. When they all sat down to eat, their little boy, who was accustomed to diving right in, immediately reached for the mashed potatoes. But, because the minister was present, his mother gently stopped his hand and bowed her head in hopes he would follow her example.
The boy caught on quickly. He looked around the table and saw that all of the adults were bowing their heads and closing their eyes. He was the only child present and he wanted to impress everybody, so just as his father was about to say the blessing, the little boy belted out, “Hey Dad, can I be the one who talks to the plate?”
There are so many instances in which we quickly can find out what kind of example we are leaving for others. Especially within the family dynamic of parents and children. What kind of example are we giving them in regards to our relationship with God, and its importance? What kind of example are we leaving them in regards to the relationship a husband and wife should have?
And, then, there’s the relationship between older siblings, and their younger brothers or sisters. Whether you believe it or not, those of you who are in high school or college are being looked up to by your younger siblings. And, you very often will be setting the example for them. The same can be said for our youth group, regarding the relationship the older ones have with the younger ones.
In so many facets of our lives, we are setting examples for others to follow. Whether good or bad. Whether we realize it or not. But, there comes a point in our lives in which we have to ask ourselves a very important question - “Whose example am I going to follow?” Will it be a brother, or sister, or parent, or grandparent, or a close friend? There are so many different examples - different choices - for us to follow, how are we to know which one is the best?
Well, I believe the answer to that question should be fairly obvious to us. Jesus Christ, who is described as being perfect in so many ways . . is also our perfect example. Because Jesus Christ was perfect in love, perfect in compassion, perfect in forgiveness - He naturally should be the example we follow in all things. And, there are so many different examples that he left us, it was hard for me to choose exactly what to preach on this morning.
But, as I was reading these verses from 1 Peter 2, which were read to us a moment ago, I noticed how important it was to Peter to emphasize how Jesus Christ was our example in three particular ways. So, this morning, we’re going to look at these three examples that Jesus left for us, so that - as Peter puts it - “you might follow in his steps.”
I. Willing to Suffer
A. The first, and foremost, example that Peter points to is that of Jesus’ suffering for good. As Peter says, it’s really no great achievement if we are suffering for some wrong-doing. We’re simply reaping the fruit of our actions. But, if we do good in our lives, and suffer for it, we are simply following the example of Jesus Christ.