I am constantly amazed at how people claim Christ, and yet act nothing like Him or His followers. One might say “Aren’t you being a bit harsh? It’s not possible to know how Jesus or His followers acted!” To which I’d respond “If you read your Bible, you’d know.” I know that’s an over simplified response, so let’s dive in to the word, and perhaps you’ll see what I mean.
Jesus wasn’t drawn in to petty arguments, nor was he drawn in by the cares of this world: Someone in the crowd said to him, “Teacher, tell my brother to divide the inheritance with me.” But he said to him, “Man, who made me a judge or arbitrator over you?” And he said to them, “Take care, and be on your guard against all covetousness, for one’s life does not consist in the abundance of his possessions.” (Luke 12:13-15)
Jesus looked forward, not to this life, but to the next. He taught the Gospel, and sought to draw people back to the Father. Jesus recognized, as we should, that this world is not our home, and that the possessions we may acquire hold our hearts and draw them away from love of the Father.
Jesus wasn’t drawn in to scandal, but sought restoration from Sin: Early in the morning he came again to the temple. All the people came to him, and he sat down and taught them. The scribes and the Pharisees brought a woman who had been caught in adultery, and placing her in the midst they said to him, “Teacher, this woman has been caught in the act of adultery. Now in the Law, Moses commanded us to stone such women. So what do you say?” This they said to test him, that they might have some charge to bring against him. Jesus bent down and wrote with his finger on the ground. And as they continued to ask him, he stood up and said to them, “Let him who is without sin among you be the first to throw a stone at her.” And once more he bent down and wrote on the ground. But when they heard it, they went away one by one, beginning with the older ones, and Jesus was left alone with the woman standing before him. Jesus stood up and said to her, “Woman, where are they? Has no one condemned you?” She said, “No one, Lord.” And Jesus said, “Neither do I condemn you; go, and from now on sin no more.” (John 8:2-11)
Jesus wasn’t drawn in to political debate, but sought to get even His enemies to consider that they are made in God’s image: And they sent to him some of the Pharisees and some of the Herodians, to trap him in his talk. And they came and said to him, “Teacher, we know that you are true and do not care about anyone’s opinion. For you are not swayed by appearances, but truly teach the way of God. Is it lawful to pay taxes to Caesar, or not? Should we pay them, or should we not?” But, knowing their hypocrisy, he said to them, “Why put me to the test? Bring me a denarius and let me look at it.” And they brought one. And he said to them, “Whose likeness and inscription is this?” They said to him, “Caesar’s.” Jesus said to them, “Render to Caesar the things that are Caesar’s, and to God the things that are God’s.” And they marveled at him. (Mark 12:13-17)
Jesus was all about the Gospel: “For God so loved the world, that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life. For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but in order that the world might be saved through him. Whoever believes in him is not condemned, but whoever does not believe is condemned already, because he has not believed in the name of the only Son of God. And this is the judgment: the light has come into the world, and people loved the darkness rather than the light because their works were evil. For everyone who does wicked things hates the light and does not come to the light, lest his works should be exposed. But whoever does what is true comes to the light, so that it may be clearly seen that his works have been carried out in God.” (John 3:16-21)
We can continue to go on with example after example, but Jesus, the Living Word of God did these things. Matthew, Mark, Luke and John provide us with the details of His life and ministry, and these Gospels, along with the book of Acts and letters written by the Apostles and Jesus’ own brothers (James and Jude), tell us what they believed and how they lived. Comparing yourself to the New Testament: are you letting the world influence you more than the Word? (And just so we’re clear, I mean both the Scriptures as well as the Word of God, as John the apostle calls Him in the Gospel of John). The Bible isn’t just some set of wise sayings or basic instructions, it is the guidelines we have to look the way Christ intends us to look, act and speak the way He intends us to act and speak, and to give God all glory and honor as we seek to proclaim this freedom we have because of Christ and Him Crucified.
Your word is a lamp to my feet and a light to my path. I have sworn an oath and confirmed it, to keep your righteous rules. I am severely afflicted; give me life, O LORD, according to your word! Accept my freewill offerings of praise, O LORD, and teach me your rules. I hold my life in my hand continually, but I do not forget your law. The wicked have laid a snare for me, but I do not stray from your precepts. Your testimonies are my heritage forever, for they are the joy of my heart. I incline my heart to perform your statutes forever, to the end.