“They think it strange…” In today’s lesson, Peter says that we cannot encounter the suffering of Christ, on our behalf, and be unchanged. The love of Jesus, poured out for us, provokes change in us. His Spirit, alive in us, transforms us. All this is made possible by the gruesome, hideous, miraculous and beautiful death of Christ. And when we have been set on a different path, taking that 180 degree turn, we WILL be strange. Strangers in a strange land.
Therefore, since Christ suffered for us in the flesh, arm yourselves also with the same mind, for he who has suffered in the flesh has ceased from sin, that he no longer should live the rest of his time in the flesh for the lusts of men, but for the will of God. For we have spent enough of our past lifetime in doing the will of the Gentiles when we walked in lewdness, lusts, drunkenness, revelries, drinking parties, and abominable idolatries. In regard to these, they think it strange that you do not run with them in the same flood of dissipation, speaking evil of you. They will give an account to Him who is ready to judge the living and the dead. For this reason the gospel was preached also to those who are dead, that they might be judged according to men in the flesh, but live according to God in the spirit (1 Peter 4:1-6).
So what about you? Are you strange…stranger than you used to be? Have you ever felt like a fish out of water because of your faith? Tell me about it!