“That which was from the beginning, which we have heard, which we have seen with our eyes, which we have looked at and our hands have touched—this we proclaim concerning the Word of life.” (1 John 1:1, NIV) I was flying to Chicago for business and figured I would use the idle time on the airplane to get a little Bible study in. Since our team was flying in a smaller plane, I was afforded more study time than one might normally expect in route from Minneapolis to the Windy City. Perfect!
So I opened to 1 John and began my reading. In case you have not read it lately (or ever) 1 John is an unabashed eyewitness account of John’s time with Jesus. His claims are unmistakable – he has seen, he has heard, and he has touched Jesus. And not just the pre-crucifixion Jesus; in verse two John proclaims the eternal life because he has seen, he has heard, and he has touched the resurrected Jesus. And in his eyewitness claims, he uses the word “we” because he is, presumably, speaking for the other twelve disciples as well.
I could dig a whole lot deeper into this eyewitness account, and the claims John was making, exploring their unmistakable authenticity and implications, but what struck me most in my personal, airborne Bible study was a point John makes in 1 John 2:6: that if we claim to live in God we must live our lives “as Jesus did.” And that got me wondering, if I am to live as Jesus did, I should understand just a little about how he lived. In other words, just what example did he set for us? Below is the list I came up with as we soared through the sky:
Jesus was sinless, he had compassion, His actions showed love in tangible ways. Jesus did not condemn sinners but encouraged them to repent; He called out hypocrisy among the religious leaders wherever he encountered it. Jesus walked in perfect trust and fellowship with God, He pursued God’s will above His own. Jesus was a teacher and He always spoke the truth whether it was popular or not; there was no deceit within Him. He did not fear the disapproval of his fellow man (in fact He often expected it). Jesus walked and talked in authority. He did not pursue worldly possessions or pleasures but strove for the fullness of living for God. Jesus cast out demons and healed illness. Jesus prayed regularly and fervently. And He spent lots of time with sinners and those who were not popular.
I paused from my study right there. While my list was hardly exhaustive, it most certainly paints a vivid picture of how Jesus lived, of the things He did, the habits He developed, the way He interacted with others, His relationship with the Father, and the way he loved. Indeed, then, my list, however incomplete it may be, seems like a good yardstick by which I can measure how well I am living “as Jesus did.” And, perhaps, a roadmap for improvement. And now I am sharing it with you for your consideration. Are you living as Jesus lived? Walking as He walked?
“Dear friends, let us continue to love one another, for love comes from God. Anyone who loves is a child of God and knows God. But anyone who does not love does not know God, for God is love. God showed how much he loved us by sending his one and only Son into the world so that we might have eternal life through him. This is real love—not that we loved God, but that he loved us and sent his Son as a sacrifice to take away our sins. Dear friends, since God loved us that much, we surely ought to love each other.” (1 John 4:7-11)
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