I am an example of Jesus Christ in my generation
Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy and my burden is light.”– Matthew 11:29-30 & Matthew 7:24-27
- Who is Jesus Christ?
Jesus’ proper name derives from the Hebrew “Joshua”, meaning “Yahweh saves” or “salvation is from Yahweh” (Matthew 1:21). Christ is the Greek term for “anointed”, equivalent to the Hebrew Messiah. This anointed Saviour is also Immanuel, “God is with us” (Matthew 1:23, Isaiah 7:14). Paul’s favourite term for Jesus was kurios, “Lord”, and the earliest Christian confession was that “Jesus is Lord”.
The sublime introduction of Jesus in the prologue to John’s Gospel presents Him as the logos, the “Word” who created all things (1:3) and who became flesh and dwelt among us (1:4). He is the Life (1:4) and the Light of mankind (1:4); the Glory of God (1:4); the only begotten God who makes the Father known (1:18).
The Gospels record Jesus’ own self designation as Son of Man, the title He frequently used to speak of His humiliation, His identification with sinful mankind, His death on behalf of sinners, and His glorious return. While Jesus was the Son of Man in respect to His ministry and passion, He is also Son of God, the uniquely begotten one sent from God Himself (Mark 1:1; John 3:16).
The book of Hebrews shows Jesus as God’s great high priest (3:1; 4:14) who both makes sacrifice for His people and who is Himself the sacrifice (10:10-14). Hebrews also presents Jesus as the creator of all things (1:2), the perfect representation of God (1:3), and the apostle of our confession (3:1).
The metaphors used of Jesus, particularly in John’s Gospel, speak poignantly to the indispensable need for a person to know Jesus. He is the water of life (John 4:14). The bread of life (6:41), the light (8:12), the door (10:7), the way, the truth and the life (14:6).
- Live like Jesus
Jesus, the divine Son of God, set aside the privileges and powers of deity for a time and lived as a man on earth. This means that you, as a reborn child of God, filled with the same Holy Spirit as Jesus was, have the same opportunity to live as He lived on earth. In fact, that is exactly what He intends.
In John 17:18 He said to the Father, “Just as You sent Me into the world, I also have sent them into the world.” He’s given you the ability and the command to live above sin, to live in fellowship with the Father, to preach the gospel and to make disciples.
- What Does it Mean for a Christ-follower to be an Example?
Though Scripture exhorts leaders to be examples (1 Pet. 5:2-3), we should all be examples as Christ-followers regardless of how we serve because we all represent Him (2 Cor. 5:20). Being an example means reflecting Jesus to those around you in a way that causes them to take notice, not of you, but of Christ in you. As an example, you will:
- Exemplify Christ in all you say and do.
- Put out sin and impurities from your life so people see Christ.
- Affect others with the love of Christ.
- Model Christ-like character and conduct.
- Position yourself under Christ so He is the Head.
- Line up with Christ in not only what you do but how you do it.
- Enhance people’s lives because of Christ in you.
God works first through the ordinary experiences of daily life to form the character of Christ in us. Through these experiences we come to know on the deepest levels that Jesus is with us always, that he never leaves us nor forsakes us, and that we can cast all our care upon him. In addition, we learn that ordinary life is sacramental, and that divine guidance is given primarily in these common junctures of life.
- Being an Example of Christ means:
- Following His teachings – believing that God is our Father and trusting Him to care for us. – John 15:4-7
- Learning to overcome the world and the devil.
- Christ’s example of service to others. Serving others who are also children of God our Father. Jesus said of Himself, “The Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give His life a ransom for many” (Matthew 20:28). And that’s exactly what He did—serve others and give His life for them—setting an example for us to follow.
- Being an Example of Christ means adopting His attitudes: – Philemon 2:1-4
a. Attitude of Humility. That the Father knows what is best for the us and therefore we should humbly surrender ourselves to His direction. Christ was totally yielded to the will of His Father. He completely humbled Himself and remained faithful in doing His Father’s will all the way to His death: “In your relationships with one another, have the same mindset as Christ Jesus: Who, being in very nature God, did not consider equality with God, something to be used to His own advantage; rather, He made himself nothing by taking the very nature of a servant, being made in human likeness.”
b.That knowing who our Father is, we should be willing to battle against evil and temptation.
c. Christ’s amazing example of godly love. We should love another, especially the family of God or the people of God’s household. He not only loved His friends, but also His enemies: “But I tell you, love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you, that you may be children of your Father in heaven. He causes His sun to rise on the evil and the good, and sends rain on the righteous and the unrighteous” (Matthew 5:44-45). His love is so great that He died for friend and foe alike. May we follow that example!
d. Modelling Christ in our Work. Christians in the workplace should be motivated by our desire to glorify God and to inspire others to desire to know him. Those who don’t know Christ may be inspired to seek Him and influenced to reconsider Christianity. Jesus also took on “the very nature of a servant”.
e. As children of God, we are called to live in INTEGRITY. Jesus is the perfect example of a man of integrity. After He was baptized, He went into the wilderness to fast for forty days and nights, during which time Satan came to Him at His weakest to try to break His integrity and corrupt Him. Jesus was wholly man and wholly God at the same time, and He was tempted in every way we are, yet he never sinned. He is the only one who was ever without blemish, perfect, completely truthful, and always showing a pattern of good works.
f. Truthfulness. The Bible also describes integrity as the truth. What is the truth? Jesus is the only real truth and the only way to attain eternal life. Nobody comes to the Father unless he goes through Jesus who is the way, the truth and the life (John 14:6). Many times, Jesus prefaced His words by saying, “Truly, I say to you,” which, in essence, means “I tell you the truth.” Jesus never lied, and His actions defined integrity.
g. Boldness. Jesus and his apostles were extremely bold and gave either their jobs or money away to do God’s ministry. Trust in God the Father as He did. He stood firm in God alone. For Him, God the Father alone was the rock on which His soul could stand. Christian courage is the willingness to say and do the right thing regardless of the earthly cost, because God promises to help you and save you on account of Christ.
h. Empathy. Jesus was always sensitive to the plight of others. Jesus is our best example of empathy. Matthew tells us how Jesus, “when he saw the crowds, . . . had compassion on them, because they were harassed and helpless, like sheep without a shepherd” (Matthew 9:36). On another occasion, Jesus observed a widow about to bury her only son. Sensing her pain (the NLT says that), Jesus’ “heart overflowed with compassion”, He approached the funeral procession and resurrected the young man (Luke 7:11-16).
i. Evangelism. Our Lord Jesus came to seek and to save those who are lost and modelling Him in our generation must give a passion for evangelism and discipleship. We must not only share our faith but live it so that all those who come into contact with us will feel attracted to the Lord Jesus and give their lives to Him as His followers. If ever there was a time to share Christ Jesus and demonstrate His power to transform lives, it is now. As His ambassadors, that is what we should be doing as effortlessly as the way we breath everyday, remembering that the Holy Spirit lives in us to enable us so to do.
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