1 Peter 2:21-25

21 For to this you were called, because Christ also suffered for us, leaving us an example, that you should follow His steps:

22 “Who committed no sin, nor was deceit found in His mouth”;

23 who, when He was reviled, did not revile in return; when He suffered, He did not threaten, but committed Himself to Him who judges righteously;

24 who Himself bore our sins in His own body on the tree, that we, having died to sins, might live for righteousness—by whose stripes you were healed.

25 For you were like sheep going astray, but have now returned to the Shepherd and Overseer of your souls.

to this (v.21) — to the wrongful sufferings in vs.19-20.

Peter’s use of the word “also” [v.21] puts the sufferings of these slaves on a new plane. They find comfort in knowing that someone else, and that person the Lord Jesus Himself, went through a like experience, that of suffering unjustly. — Wuest, page 66

example (v.21) — Used only here in the New Testament, and refers to an outline drawing or copy-book letters to be followed by the pupil.

follow (v.21) = lit. “to take the same road”

deceit (v.22) = craftiness, trickery. (Isaiah 56:9)

found (v.22) — used as a negative, as here, it means a failure to find something after careful scrutiny

Verse 23 — The Greek word translated “reviled” … is a harsh railing, which not only rebukes a man but also stamps him with open contumely … The word “but” in the Greek text does not adversely contrast the two actions here, but removes the ting previously negatived altogether out of our field of view and substitutes something totally different. The word “committed” is the translation of a Greek word which means literally “to hand over.” It means “to deliver something to someone to keep, use, take care of, manage.” — Wuest, pages 67-68.


bore (v.24) = lit. “carried up” The word is used in the LXX of a priest carrying the sacrifice up to the altar. The brazen altar was four and one-half feet high, and was approached by an incline up which the priests bore the sacrifice. … The word belongs to the idea of sacrifice and is not to be disassociated from it. The Greek word translated “tree” does not refer to a literal tree but to an object fashioned out of wood, in this case, the Cross. Thus, our Lord, Himself the High Priest and the Sacrifice, carried our sins as a burden of guilt up to the Cross. …

The word “stripes” in the Greek presents a picture of our Lord’s lacerated back after the scourging He endured at the hands of the Roman soldier. The Romans used a scourge of cords or thongs to which latter were attached pieces of lead or brass, or small, sharp-pointed bones. Criminals condemned to crucifixion were ordinarily scourged before being executed. The victim was stripped to the waist and bound in a stopping position, with the hands behind the back, to a post or pillar. … The Greek word translated “stripes” refers to a bloody [mark raised on the skin] trickling with blood that arises under a blow. The word is singular, not plural. Peter remembered the body of our Lord after the scourging, the flesh so dreadfully mangled that the disfigured form appeared in his eyes as one single bruise. … The Greek word [for “healed”] is not confined in its meaning to physical healing. In Luke 4:18 it refers to the alleviation of heartaches, and in Hebrews 12:13, to the rectifying of one’s conduct. In Matthew 13:15, it means, “to bring about (one’s) salvation.” — Wuest, pages 68-70.

Sadler points to the dispensation differences between Peter and Paul. He says that we, as members of the Body of Christ, cannot follow Christ in obedience to the law, but instead should follow Paul. All that is true, but the context here seems to me to be referring specifically to enduring sufferings, which spans all dispensations (for example, Philippians 1:29; 2 Timothy 1:8).

Christ suffered for us, that is, the holy nation, leaving “us” Hebrews and example, that “ye” kingdom saints should follow in His steps. … Now that they had returned to the fold, they were to follow the good Shepherd, the Bishop of their souls. Today, Christ is not the Shepherd of the flock according to Paul’s gospel—He is the Head of the Body. — Sadler, pages 93, 95.

The mashing together of dispensations is so common in today’s church that it almost sounds shocking to hear that Paul never calls Christ our Shepherd.

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