"WHAT IF JESUS ACTED LIKE US?"
I was startled awake with this question ringing in my head around 2:00 am. I couldn't shake the oddity of the thought. And, it wasn't just the question, but the "why" of it. Why did I wake up with such an odd thought?
I could not shake it. "WHAT IF JESUS ACTED LIKE ME - OR YOU?" I decided to think it through with the hope it would go away.
Since no one could know what I was thinking (until now) I decided to be brutally honest with myself.
If Jesus acted like us
(1) He would have been a sinner, like the rest of us
(2) He would lose all credibility
(3) He would be a hypocrite
(4) He would need a Savior of His own
(5) Church would be irrelevant
(6) Sinning would still be deadly, but OK
(7) All of humanity would perish
(8) People wouldn't need Jesus
"Thinking it through" did not help. The thought would not leave me.
I got up at my regular time and went to the internet and searched "WHAT WOULD HAPPEN IF JESUS SINNED?" Most would not even would touch this question. One Evangelist-type approached the question but nervously repeated "This, of course, could never happen, so we don't need to discuss it." It obviously made him very nervous.
Here is why this is a good question,
why we need to discuss it
the ugly truth that this question makes us confront:
For most everyone on earth who does not know Jesus as God, as Lord and Savior, a Christian is the only representation they will ever see as Jesus.
Another way of saying this is that "We are the only "JESUS" most people will ever see."
So, it is true. Sad, but true. Since most people equate Jesus with His followers, to the lost person, if Christians are learning to following Jesus - learning to be like Him - then Jesus must act just like us!
It's true. You and I don't have to like it, but, it's true.
Listen, the Bible points out that the "deeds of the flesh" are evident in al of us, are:
sorcery, witchcraft, astrology
strife, arguments that boil over
outbursts of anger,
carousing, and things like these. And the Bible warns us that those who practice such things will not inherit the kingdom of God.
But the "fruit of the Spirit of God", which indwells a Believer, is
Jesus embodies - demonstrates - the "fruit of the Spirit of God" and, the Bible tells us to be imitators of Christ.
Here are some examples:
1 Corinthians 11:1 Be imitators of me, as I am of Christ.
Ephesians 5:1 Therefore be imitators of God, as beloved children.
1 Peter 2:21 For to this you have been called, because Christ also suffered for you, leaving you an example, so that you might follow in his steps.
1 John 2:6 Whoever says he abides in him ought to walk in the same way in which he walked.
Philippians 3:17 Brothers, join in imitating me, and keep your eyes on those who walk according to the example you have in us.
1 Corinthians 4:16 I urge you, then, be imitators of me.
Galatians 2:20 I have been crucified with Christ. It is no longer I who live, but Christ who lives in me. And the life I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me.
Ephesians 5:1-2 Therefore be imitators of God, as beloved children. And walk in love, as Christ loved us and gave himself up for us, a fragrant offering and sacrifice to God.
1 Thessalonians 1:6 And you became imitators of us and of the Lord, for you received the word in much affliction, with the joy of the Holy Spirit,
It is two days later, now, and I am still in shock over the thought that,
"THE ONLY JESUS MOST PEOPLE WILL SEE IS ME - OR YOU".
You know, I see a bumper sticker that says, "As a Christian, I am not perfect, just saved". I really don't like that bumper sticker any more. It is just an excuse. A way of saying to the world, "Hey, I'm a Christian and I would act like Jesus, but I'm not perfect, so get over it!"
Maybe that's why the Bible says, "Therefore you are to be perfect, as your heavenly Father is perfect. Matthew 5:48 (And by the way, the word "perfect" here, means PERFECT.)
Strong's concordance #5046 teleios tel’-i-os AV-perfect 17
1) brought to its end, finished
2) wanting nothing necessary to completeness
4) that which is perfect
4a) consummate human integrity and virtue
4b) of men
4b1) full grown, adult, of full age, mature
I know I have some serious work to do. I have a Cross to carry. I am committed to this.
How about you? Please. They are watching.
"Thank you, God, for speaking to me about this. I pray that you will guide me, empower me, to change into the likeness of Christ, to become an imitator of Jesus, today." Amen
Your Brother and Friend,
Just for our use, here are 100 Bible verses about imitating Christ: