I Want to be Like Jesus
When you think about being “like Jesus”, what characteristics of the Savior come to mind?
Some teammates will immediately think about what it would be like to go from city to city to heal the sick and raise the dead. Others may recall Bible verses on His power to cast out devils or feed thousands with just a couple of fish and a few loaves of bread. And I get it – all of that is within reach for us. How? We have the same Spirit that raised Jesus from the dead dwelling in us (Romans 8:11), and we are commissioned to do greater works (John 14:12).
The million dollar question is – Have we allowed the “same Spirit” to empower us with the basics, e.g., love one another, love your enemies, follow peace with all men, tame your tongue? The list goes on, right?
For me, there are some everyday, practical characteristics about Jesus that, frankly, I’d like to improve in my own life. See if any of these character traits resonate with you, too.
What Does Jesus Do, How Does He Do It?
The following character traits of Jesus may not be “sexy” or “deep”, but once understood and mastered, these traits are powerful additions to our every day lives. Jesus is, was, and forever will be:
Jesus understands the importance of prioritization for every effort and/or task. You will never catch Jesus majoring in the minors or doing any effort out of its prioritized order. He knows where His focus needs to be and when – even when others try to pull Him into their self-centered agendas and timeframes.
What did he tell his mother at the wedding feast (John 2:4)? What did He tell the brethren when they were trying to get Him to go to Judea and show off His works? “My time is not come yet.” (John 7:3-6) Jesus doesn’t do the right thing at the wrong time. He doesn’t jump the gun. With every decision and move He makes, He takes into consideration the what and when with equal importance.
There was a set of standards that always guided Jesus’ words and actions. He didn’t operate by the leading of His own will, but He came to do the will of His Father (John 6:38). Sometimes we forget that Jesus was born with free will, just like we are, and made the conscious decision to lay down His will and do the will of His Father. This was His life’s guiding principle.
The key to being properly principled is having a clear understanding of your purpose. We can see Jesus’ clarity in numerous verses that lend to – not my will, but thy will be done (Luke 22:42).
And, His commitment to His principles didn’t waver when life got hard, the devil was busy, or when the world would “understand” or “cosign” a detour from principles. Naturally hungry after a 40-day fast, who wouldn’t be tempted to turn stones into bread if they had the power? Not Jesus! “Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that comes from the mouth of God.” (Matthew 4:3-4, Deuteronomy 8:3).
Add Jesus’ ability to prioritize and His commitment to the principles of His Father and what do you get? You get a Savior who always produces results – mission accomplished!
Jesus not only started well, but He also didn’t get stuck in the middle of His journey. He FINISHED (John 19:30). And, as the author and Finisher of our faith, Jesus expects us to follow in His footsteps.
So, What’s the Play Call?
It all starts in our minds. Put aside your thoughts, your will, and let the mind of Christ thrive in you (Philippians 2:5). If we’re going to BE like Jesus, we’re going to have to THINK like Jesus.
And, by natural progression, the more we think like Jesus, the more we will become imitators of God – loving like Christ loves and becoming a fragrant sacrifice for God (Ephesians 5:1-2).