May 1, 2023

1 Peter 2:19 “What counts is that you put up with it for God’s sake when you’re treated badly for no good reason.” (The Message Bible)

This is addressed to household slaves in the first century. Should the Biblical writers have spoken out against slavery? In other parts of the New Testament the writers tell masters they should treat their slaves fairly and justly but they seem to accept slavery as a part of society. Perhaps they were anticipating the return of Christ in short order that would put an end to all injustices. Perhaps they believed that God had not put them in a position to change these things at that time and so were focusing on how to instruct and encourage these particular folks. As far as I know the Bible never calls slavery good or suggests it is the way things ought to be. If we are in a position now to deal with such injustices, we should do so. “What counts” is that we do what we do “for God’s sake.” Even when such inequalities are part of our personal situations, God is still present and can use even the worst of circumstances for good. That is the message of the cross. It can be a hard reality, but it is the example of Jesus. What do you make of this?

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