“Therefore be imitators of God as dear children.” – Ephesians 5:1
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Remember that Jesus said, “And he who does not take his cross and follow after Me is not worthy of Me” (Matt. 10:38). We must deny ourselves – our own way of being and thinking – and follow after Christ. Jesus said many times in Scripture to follow Him. It’s important that we follow after His footsteps so that with each new day we can be more like Him.
As we strive to be more like Christ, let’s take a look at some of the characteristics of our Lord and Savior.
- Jesus was human. Yes, Jesus is the Son of God. But He was also human. Jesus knew that He was God “but made Himself of no reputation, taking the form of a bondservant, and coming in the likeness of men” (Phili. 2:7). He came in the likeness of man and put on human flesh (1 John 4:2). He also exhibited compassion, showing His care for mankind. “But when He saw the multitudes, He was moved with compassion for them, because they were weary and scattered, like sheep having no shepherd” (Matt. 9:36). And, as our High Priest, we do not have someone “who cannot sympathize with our weaknesses, but [He] was in all points tempted as we are, yet without sin” (Heb. 4:15). Jesus is Lord, yet while He walked the earth, He did so as a human.
- Jesus is humble. The Lord is not arrogant or boastful. Yet, our Lord is the opposite of everything prideful and haughty. He is humble. Humble simply means “to make or bring low”. The Word says, “For you know the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, that though He was rich, yet for your sakes He became poor, that you through His poverty might become rich” (2 Cor. 8:9). The Lord had no need of His own to come to earth; He already had everything in heaven. But for your sake and for my sake, He became poor so that we could become rich like Him. Jesus said: “For who is greater, he who sits at the table, or he who serves? Is it not he who sits at the table? Yet I am among you as the One who serves” (Luke 22:27). He humbled Himself to a servant’s status. He went even furthered and washed His disciples’s feet (John 13:5, 14). So He put Himself in a lower position for us.
- Jesus is holy. Holy means to be set apart for a purpose. Jesus’ holiness was proclaimed before He even arrived on earth in the flesh. Recall what the angel said to Mary: “And the angel answered and said to her, ‘The Holy Spirit will come upon you, and the power of the Highest will overshadow you; therefore, also, that Holy One who is to be born will be called the Son of God'” (Luke 1:35). There is no unrighteousness found in Jesus (John 7:18). And He loves righteousness and hates lawlessness (Heb. 1:9). He’s the kind of High Priest that we need: “holy, harmless, undefiled, separate from sinners, and has become higher than the heavens” (Heb. 7:26). He’s separate from sinners; the Lord is holy.
As we imitate Christ, we are also instructed to demonstrate our humanity towards others. Peter admonishes us: “Finally, all of you be of one mind, having compassion for one another; love as brothers, be tenderhearted, be courteous” (1 Pet. 3:8). And like Jesus sympathizes with our weaknesses, we, too, ought to bear the load of the weak (Rom. 15:1; Gal. 6:1) and lead those who are astray to the Chief Shepherd of our souls.
We are also called to be humble. Notice what James says: “Humble yourselves in the sight of the Lord, and He will lift you up” (James 4:10). May we bring ourselves low as servants while we lift others up.
Finally, “but as He who called you is holy, you also be holy in all your conduct” (1 Pet. 1:15). God wants us to love righteousness, to hate sin, and to be separate from sinners (2 Cor. 6:17). Then we’ll be more like Him.
If you haven’t become a Christian – a follower of Christ – then you can do so today. Believe that Jesus is the Son of God, repent of your sins, confess the name of Jesus to others, and be baptized for the forgiveness of your sins. Then you will be taking up your cross and following Christ.
Let’s be like Jesus.
“Let this mind be in you which was also in Christ Jesus.” – Philippians 2:5