Jesus Christ was a righteous man who lived a sinless life. As followers of Jesus Christ we should strive to be more like him. Isn’t that a part of being a Christian? Being a Christian means following Jesus by imitating his life and character. We must turn to the Bible to find the true Jesus and try to gain wisdom from his words and actions. The Bible tells us he was righteous, humble, merciful and forgiving. The Bible also shows us that he was a human being just like us. We see that he was tempted by the devil; he demonstrated compassion and even showed anger just as we do. Jesus was a human being like us filled with emotions.
As a human being Jesus felt compassion for others and he showed it time and time again. In Matthew 14:14 it says, “When he went ashore he saw a great crowd, and he had compassion on them and healed their sick.” He was moved with compassion because he cares about us and he will always care about us. In Luke chapter 7 verse 13 we see he is deeply moved by a widow who had just lost her only son. It says, “And when the Lord saw her, he had compassion on her and said to her, ‘Do not weep.’” Then he raises the son from the dead. He was constantly showing compassion towards others. He also calls on us to show compassion for one another just as he did. He set examples for us so we can show compassion to everyone just as he did. Time and time again he is moved with compassion toward the sick and weary not to those with money or fancy clothes but to all those who ask.
Sometimes it’s hard for us to act like Jesus when we are constantly comparing ourselves to others. We constantly look at others and see their flaws. When we see how people react to certain situations we think to ourselves how we would react if we were in their shoes. Of course we always picture ourselves making the right decisions and wonder why everyone doesn’t act like us. Is that how Jesus would react, with pride? He would definitely not act like that. When we compare ourselves with others we tend to focus on the negative about others and try to build ourselves up thinking we are better than them. In contrast, Jesus showed us that we should humble ourselves just as he did. He would break bread with sinners and tax collectors while the Pharisees and scribes looked down upon them. Jesus showed his disciples humility by doing the work of a servant in John 13 when he washed their feet.
The master of a house doesn’t wash the feet of his servants but the servants are the ones who do that type of work. Jesus wanted to set an example for them so that they would understand that they were to humble themselves towards one another and towards others. At first Peter didn’t understand but later he completely understood what Jesus was showing him. Peter shows his understanding in 1 Peter 5:5, “Likewise, you who are younger, be subject to the elders. Clothe yourselves, all of you, with humility toward one another, for ‘God opposes the proud but gives grace to the humble.’” Just as Peter gained wisdom and understanding, we also can grow in wisdom and knowledge by reading and following what God has giving us in the Bible.
In all things that Jesus did he did it with love. The Merriam-Webster Dictionary defines love as a “strong affection for another arising out of kinship or personal ties.” Jesus truly loves us. He spent time here on earth to be an example for us so that we would love as he does. He showed us one of the hardest things we could ever do was to love our enemies. In Matthew 5:43-44 he tells us, “You have heard that it was said, ‘You shall love your neighbor and hate your enemy.’ But I say to you, Love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you.” He displays this in John 4 when he talks with a Samaritan woman. The Jews and Samaritans didn’t like each other and wouldn’t even speak to the other. But he tells us not just to love those who love us but also love those who hate us. It’s very hard to do but love can change someone’s heart.
I remember a sermon one time were the pastor said there was a car accident outside his Church while he was preaching. A man lost control of his car and slammed into one of the Church member’s car. The man was angry and very upset and it showed in his attitude toward the Christian. The Christian didn’t return anger for anger but showed the love of Jesus. After some time passed the man felt compelled to visit the Church and see if he could find a way to let go of the anger within because he had a lot of anger deep down inside of him. At some point after that the man turned his life over to the Lord and found the peace he was looking for. Jesus knew all along that he would suffer and die but he never stopped loving. We don’t know what God has in store for us but we do know that love can move mountains. He will work through us to accomplish amazing things if we just follow him.
Belonging To Jesus
When he started his ministry Jesus said to his disciples, “Follow me.” Just as he called the disciples to follow him he calls us today to be Christians. Did you know that the word Christian wasn’t used by the early followers of Jesus but they were given that name by the non-Christians of the day. The first part of the word Christian obviously refers to Jesus being the Christ. The other part of the word comes from the Latin ending meaning “belonging to.” So we belong to Jesus and he calls us to follow him in word and deed so that we can be a reflection of love in this world. We are to love one another as Jesus showed us with compassion and humility. 1 Peter 3:8, “Finally, all of you, have unity of mind, sympathy, brotherly love, a tender heart, and a humble mind.”