Jesus the Master Teacher and Example
OKLAHOMA CITY, OKLA. – When Jesus began His ministry, He called some disciples to follow Him. They followed Him closely, watching what He said and did. They saw how He lived. Eventually, they realized He had come from God and was showing them the way to God.
They listened to His teaching and observed His life carefully. They noticed that He spent a lot of time with His Father in prayer and that He knew the scriptures very well. He often replied to questions, “It is written,” or asked the person who questioned Him, “What does the scripture say?” They made the connection that His life was built around a relationship with His Father in prayer and knowledge of the scriptures.
He then told the disciples as He was leaving them to go back to His Father in Heaven to go to all the world and make disciples. A disciple is a follower, and these were people who followed Jesus, who were taught by Jesus and followed His example of living a life connected to God.
In 2 Corinthians 3:18, Paul shares that, as we behold the glory of the life and character of Jesus, we will be changed to become like Him. As we see how He lived and loved we will become assimilated into His likeness or character. Paul lists some character traits that he asks us to put on or internalize. He mentions mercy, kindness, humility, meekness and patience or long-suffering. He then said for us to bear with one another, and if anyone has a complaint against someone, forgive them. He then tells us why we should: because Christ forgave us and we must pass it on. Forgive as you have been forgiven.
In reading that list we realize these qualities are all found in Christ. He is merciful to us. He is kind to us; He is humble and meek and lowly in heart. He is also patient with us and forgiving to us. Jesus, our teacher was also our example. He modeled a life of connection to His Father through prayer and treating people with redemptive grace. He loved us while we were undeserving and unlovely. And as we realized His unconditional love, it brought a response of repentance and love to Him, along with a desire to follow Him and become like Him, treating people like He treated us. When this happens in us, His work for us is complete, and His image is reproduced in us.
By James Shires