How can we live like Jesus? Steph lists twelve biblical examples of how He lived, encouraging us to follow our Saviour’s example.
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How To Live Like Jesus
As I spent time in prayer, I itemized those ministries and groups I’m involved in, asking God to show me which I am to continue with. Each of us can only do so much, despite lies to the contrary.
We are encouraged to look to our areas of gifting and ability, to those opportunities that excite and motivate us to press on. And while these criteria may point us in the right direction, my thoughts went beyond, to biblical examples.
The Ultimate Example, of course, is the Lord Jesus.
How did He determine what He should do? How did He lead?
Very quickly, I thought of the following dozen truths:
He gave up everything.
Philippians 2:4-8 says, “Let each of you look not only to his own interests, but also to the interests of others. Have this mind among yourselves, which is yours in Christ Jesus, who, though he was in the form of God, did not count equality with God a thing to be grasped, but emptied himself, by taking the form of a servant, being born in the likeness of men. And being found in human form, he humbled himself by becoming obedient to the point of death, even death on a cross” (ESV).
He loved the unlovable.
It says in Romans 5:8 that He died for us while we were still sinners. Nothing about us—except His love for us—motivated Him to give His life on our behalf.
He ministered to those whose only motive was selfishness.
The crowds that pressed in on Him from every side did so because He fed the hungry and healed the sick. He even raised the dead. They were looking for a Saviour who would minister to their physical needs, not one who would meet their far more urgent spiritual needs.
He was misunderstood by even those closest to Him.
There are countless examples in the Scriptures where we read that even His disciples didn’t understand what He had come to accomplish. Even when He spoke clearly about the future, they simply couldn’t fathom it.
He made His body subject to higher priorities .
While Jesus was fully God, He was also fully man. He got hungry and thirsty. And He definitely got tired. And who wouldn’t be tired after a day of ministering to the crowds—all the while, teaching His disciples in word and deed? Did He collapse on the ground and fall asleep from exhaustion? There may have been times He did so, but we know there were other times He went apart and spent the night praying to His Father. I can’t imagine being that tired and being able to do so.
He stood up against injustice.
While Jesus wasn’t an activist, He stood up against society’s injustices—sometimes quietly, as when He assured women of their value by allowing Mary to sit at His feet, a place reserved only for male students of the rabbi; and sometimes not so quietly, as when He drove the moneychangers out of the temple.
He ministered to society’s outcasts.
Where could Jesus be found? Hobnobbing with the rich and famous? After all, He was the king. No. Instead, He spent His time with “tax collectors and sinners,” the lowest of the low. The rejected. The despised. The ignored.
He endured the jealousy of spiritual and political leaders.
I’m blown away by the fact that the Pharisees and Sadducees didn’t deny Jesus’s miracles. And we know from what Nicodemus said when he met Jesus in secret that at least some of them acknowledged that He had come from God. However, their position and power were more important to them than humbling themselves before the Messiah.
He remained faithful in the face of hatred and misunderstanding.
The leaders of Jesus’s day were jealous of Him. They even hated Him and plotted against Him. But even the crowds and His own disciples didn’t understand who He really was or what He had come to accomplish. Still, Jesus expressed His love for them in countless ways, knowing they wouldn’t fully understand the Father’s plans and purposes until after He had risen from the dead.
He didn’t seek to be the centre of attention.
There were times He simply slipped away through the crowds. At others, He commanded those He’d healed not to tell others who was responsible. Instead, they were to offer the appropriate sacrifice at the temple. And at times, He called His disciples to come away with Him. This doesn’t sound like a leader trying to draw attention to Himself.
He sacrificed with eternity in mind.
Hebrews 12:2 tell us that He endured the cross “for the joy that was set before Him” (ESV). He looked beyond His suffering to the salvation He was providing for all who would come to faith and to the fact that He would again reign at the right hand of His Father.
He was determined to follow through on the Plan despite opposition from even His closest disciples—and His own humanity.
If you’ve never read about Jesus praying in the garden of Gethsemane from Matthew 26, keeping in mind the intensity of His prayers and the very real battle to accept what lay ahead of Him, I encourage you to do so.
May we be willing to follow our Saviour’s example to the extend He calls us to. May we be faithful to fulfill His call on our life—no matter what opposition we face.
Steph Beth Nickel is a freelance writer and editor. She is the coauthor of Paralympian Deb Willows’ award-winning memoir, Living Beyond My Circumstances, published by Castle Quay Books.
Steph is a member of InScribe Christian Writers’ Fellowship and The Word Guild. She and her husband of over 30 years live in Southwestern Ontario, Canada.
Steph’s goal is to nurture and inspire. She blogs at Steph Nickel’s Eclectic Interests. She also guest posts regularly on the topics of Christian living, writing, and fitness. You can visit her website, stephbethnickel.com, to learn more about her.
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