Most of Mike’s co-workers knew little about Christianity, nor did they seem to care. But they knew he cared. One day near the Easter season, someone casually mentioned that they’d heard Easter had something to do with Passover and wondered what the connection was. “Hey, Mike!” he said. “You know about this God stuff. What’s Passover?”
So Mike explained how God brought the Israelites out of slavery in Egypt. He told them about the ten plagues, including the death of the firstborn in every household. He explained how the death angel “passed over” the houses whose doorframes were covered by the blood of a sacrificed lamb. Then he shared how Jesus was later crucified at the Passover season as the once-and-for-all sacrificial Lamb. Suddenly Mike realized, Hey, I’m witnessing!
Peter the disciple gave advice to a church in a culture that didn’t know about God. He said, “Always be prepared to give an answer to everyone who asks you to give the reason for the hope that you have” (1 Peter 3:15).
Because Mike had been open about his faith, he got the chance to share that faith naturally, and he could do so with “gentleness and respect” (v. 15).
We can too. With the help of God’s Holy Spirit, we can explain in simple terms what matters most in life—that “stuff” about God.
Peter’s question in 1 Peter 3:13, “Who is going to harm you if you are eager to do good?” is clearly rhetorical. He knows there are times when we will be harmed for doing what’s right. The apostle’s knowledge of such suffering was firsthand; he’d been jailed and beaten from the early days of the church (Acts 5:40; 12:3–4). In fact, Peter would eventually be killed for serving Christ (John 21:19; 2 Peter 1:13–14).
So Peter’s encouragement is no mere pontification. Rather, it’s from his own platform of suffering that he tells a constantly threatened church, “If you should suffer for what is right, you are blessed” (1 Peter 3:14). And it’s in the context of suffering that Peter urges us to be ready to explain our reasons for following Jesus. Understanding this—and remembering His sufferings (v. 18)—deepens our resolve to share God’s truth in love.