5 For just as we share abundantly in the sufferings of Christ,(J) so also our comfort abounds through Christ. (NIV bible online on biblegateway.com)
2 Corinthians 1:3 - 7
ESV - 3 Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of mercies and God of all comfort. 4 Who comforts us in all our affliction, so that we may be able to comfort those who are in any affliction, with the comfort with which we ourselves are comforted by God.
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The passage that comes to my mind with regard to the question is Jesus' discussion with James and John when they (apparently with their mother also) came to Jesus asking that He grant them seats at His right and left hands in His kingdom (Matthew 20:20-28; Mark 10:35-45). Jesus first told them that they did not know (that is, fully understand or comprehend) what would be involved in receiving what they asking for. He then asked them if they would be able to drink from the same cup that He was about to drink from (that is, His forthcoming suffering and death), and to be baptized with the baptism (of suffering) that He was about to undergo. I interpret Paul's comment cited in the question to be referring to this. We as humans can never fully duplicate the magnitude of the suffering and death that Jesus experienced. But we share in them (as James -- the first of the apostles to be martyred -- and John -- who was exiled to the island of Patmos -- did) when we willingly forego the (sinful) pleasures, or patiently endure (as Jesus did) the negative consequences, in whatever form and of whatever magnitude, that "the world" may either offer to us or inflict upon us because of our living out the principles of our faith that are in conflict with the way that the world operates. (And any such shared suffering will be compensated -- if not fully in this life, then in inexpressible measure in eternity (1 Corinthians 2:9).)
Let's look at how Jesus suffered and draw some contemporary parallels. 1. Jesus was an illegitimate child The community thought Mary had been unfaithful and Jesus was a b_______ child born outside of wedlock. NOW: Children are born into broken families, orphans, single parents, blended families caused by divorce and suffer lack of parents, love, affection, etc. 2. Jesus came from a very poor family Joseph was a carpenter but they were very poor. At Jesus dedication they could only afford 2 birds, the smallest offering. NOW: Many people grow up in impoverished conditions, suffering from lack of food, medicine, education, security, etc. 3. Jesus’ faith was rejected by his family His mother and brothers came to stop his ministry because they thought he was out of his mind. NOW: Our families can reject our faith, distance themselves from us, mock and ridicule us, shun us from family gatherings, even kill us for our faith (Muslim & Hindu cultures). 4. Jesus’ faith was rejected by his friends and neighbours When Jesus returned to Nazareth to minister there, no one would accept his ministry as they knew him growing up, so he performed very few miracles. NOW: Our friends, neighbours, and co-workers can reject us because of our faith. They will mock and ridicule us, shun us from social gatherings, even deliberately malign and slander our character. 5. Jesus was homeless during his ministry years Jesus depended on handouts for his daily survival, he had no home to lay his head, he slept on the cold ground. NOW: Many people are homeless in our societies today, even the working poor depend on soup kitchens, food banks, used clothing stores, etc. 6. Jesus’ mission was rejected by the leaders in society Jesus was constantly being challenged about his mission, tested, tricked and trapped trying to discredit him. NOW: People who know we are Christians will seek to discredit us, push us down, prevent us from being promoted at work, even get us fired because they don't want us around. 7. Jesus was unjustly treated because of envy and jealousy Jesus was opposed by the Jewish religious leaders because they were envious of his popularity with the people. They were angry about losing their power ad control. They convicted him in a kangaroo court and used the Romans to crucify him. NOW: Christians are unjustly treated every day. We are criticised, ridiculed, mocked and harmed because of our faith. We won't play along to get along so we are punished. In some countries Christians are killed for their faith by other religious extremists. 8. Jesus was opposed because of righteousness and holiness Jesus was opposed by every demonic spirit he encountered. Jesus was opposed by everyone who wouldn't confess their sins and repent. Jesus made people feel guilty and ashamed because of his righteousness and holiness. NOW: Christians shine the light of Jesus into the lives of everyone around them. We expose the darkness of evil and wickedness in people's lives, so they become angry with us. We are the smell of death to people who are perishing and we suffer their angry, rage and malice.
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