John Calvin's Commentary on the Bible

21 (1 Peter 2:21)

Verse 21

21For even hereunto were ye called For though his discourse was respecting servants, yet this passage ought not to be confined to that subject. For the Apostle here reminds all the godly in common as to what the condition of Christianity is, as though he had said, that we are called by the Lord for this end, patiently to bear wrongs; and as he says in another place that we are appointed to this. Lest, however, this should seem grievous to us, he consoles us with the example of Christ. Nothing seems more unworthy, and therefore less tolerable, than undeservedly to suffer; but when we turn our eyes to the Son of God, this bitterness is mitigated; for who would refuse to follow him going before us?

But we must notice the words, Leaving us an example (33) For as he treats of imitation, it is necessary to know what in Christ is to be our example. He walked on the sea, he cleansed the leprous, he raised the dead, he restored sight to the blind: to try to imitate him in these things would be absurd. For when he gave these evidences of his power, it was not his object that we should thus imitate him. It has hence happened that his fasting for forty days has been made without reason an example; but what he had in view was far otherwise. We ought, therefore, to exercise in this respect a right judgment; as also Augustine somewhere reminds us, when explaining the following passage,

“Learn of me, for I am meek and lowly in heart.”
(
Matthew 11:29.)

And the same thing may be learnt from the words of Peter; for he marks the difference by saying that Christ’s patience is what we ought to follow. This subject is handled more at large by Paul in Romans 8:29, where he teaches us that all the children of God are foreordained to be made conformable to the image of Christ, in order that he might be the first-born among many brethren. Hence, that we may live with him, we must previously die with him.

- John Calvin's Commentary on the Bible