Friday, February 24, 2006

Suffering (2) is Normal

TThe first implication of Christ’s suffering is that those who follow him will also suffer. This may come as a surprise to those who think that Jesus came to rescue us. They think that his sufferings will relieve our suffering. Many Christians believer that Jesus suffered for us so that we will not have to suffer. This is not the view of Peter. The hard message of his epistle is that since Christ suffered, his followers should also suffer. Jesus was sinless and yet he was hated and mistreated. Those who follow him cannot expect exemption from similar treatment .

To be a Christian is to follow Christ. Anyone who follows in his footsteps and lives the same kind of life, is also bound to suffer.

To this you have been called, because Christ also suffered for you, leaving you an example, that you should follow in his steps (1 Pet 2:21).
Suffering in not just a vague possibility, but something which Christians should be ready to meet. Therefore, we should not he surprised when suffering comes upon us.
Dear friends, do not be surprised at the painful trial you are suffering, as though something strange were happening to you (1 Pet 4:12).
Jesus made this very clear to the disciples. He repeatedly warned that discipleship involves suffering. Everyone who would follow him must take up the cross (Mk 2:34). He promised them that they must drink the same cup of suffering as he drank, and be baptised with the same baptism of fire (Mk 10:35-45). Jesus’ gospel did not promise a soft cosy life, but was a call to a life of hardship, suffering and humiliation, just like his own. So when suffering comes, we should not be surprised.

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