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Theology 101 Jesus: Came to Set An Examplecomment (0)

March 6, 2014

By Jerry Batson


We have been thinking for several weeks about Jesus as the Word that became (John 1:14). He became flesh to reveal God, redeem sinners and teach saints. Let’s think this week about the Word becoming flesh in order to be an example for all who believe upon His name. Of course, Jesus’ revealing and redeeming work lies at the center of the incarnation. But within the circle of His accomplishments in His earthly ministry is that of example setting.

Later in the Gospel of John we read about Jesus washing the feet of the disciples. When He finished, He told them, “I have given you an example, that you also should do just as I have done to you” (John 13:15). In passing, we note that Jesus said “an example,” not an ordinance. Later in the New Testament we read, “Christ also suffered for you, leaving you an example, so that you might follow in His steps” (1 Pet. 2:21).

As in prior weeks, let’s make another connection with John 14:6. In thinking several weeks ago about Jesus having come to redeem sinners, we considered the idea involved in Him saying, “I am the Way.” Then when we thought about Him as the Teacher, we recalled He also said, “I am the Truth.” This week, as we consider Jesus as an example, ponder how it might relate to His third declaration in John 14:6, “I am the Life.”

As our example, Jesus shows us what a life looks like that pleases God. And from the life He lived in the flesh, we can learn about how we might then live. Furthermore when we are born again, Jesus imparts His life to us. The simplest expression of this truth is that of Colossians 1:27, “Christ in you.” We might think of this as Christ, by the indwelling Holy Spirit, living through us the kind of life He exemplified in His earthly sojourn. Through the presence and power of the Holy Spirit at work in us, we find divine enablement to become more Christlike.

Christ set for us an example in loving. He loved His own to the end (John 13:1). He set an example in forgiving. He forgave a repentant thief who had mocked Him. He gave us an example in serving, saying, “I am among you as one Who serves.” He furnished us a pattern of obeying, saying to the Father, “I delight to do Thy will.” He furnishes us an example in how to respond to those who hurt us. Being reviled, He reviled not again. At the end, He gave us an example in dying, “Father, into Your hands I commit My spirit.”

As followers of Christ, what brings us the most satisfaction? What might we experience as Christians about which we would say is enough? 

Jesus Himself suggested an answer for us in Matthew 10:25, “It is enough for the disciple to be like his teacher and the servant like his master.” 

Is it really enough for us to be more like our Master? Can we say that we are finding deep heart satisfaction in more closely resembling our example, Jesus? Would that really be enough?

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