The Great Example
People who believe in Jesus approach Him with two fundamentally different mindsets. Some see Him as “the great exception” Who lived in a way we could never emulate and did things we could never duplicate. Others see Him as “the great example,” the perfect picture of who we were intended to be and what we were intended to do.
So which is it? Is Jesus our exception or our example? In His mission to die for the sins of many and accomplish salvation for us, He’s entirely unique. No one else could fulfill that role. But in virtually everything else — character, purpose, power and more — He’s our role model. He is the image of God into Which we are being restored.
How do we know? He sent his followers into the world in the same way the Father sent Him (John 20:21). He emptied himself of deity in order to clothe Himself in flesh (Philippians 2:6-8), living among us as a human being dependent on God in the same way we can live in dependence on God. And He assured His followers that by faith, we would be able to do the same kinds of works He did (John 14:12). We are as He is in this world (1 John 4:17).
Let that be your goal. Never catch yourself looking at Jesus’ works or nature and saying, “Well, that was Jesus.” No, it’s you, too. This is your calling. Some people are living it out more fully than others — miracles really do happen, and God’s power and nature really are present among us — but it’s available to all. Don’t reduce possibilities to your current experience; raise your experience to meet the possibilities. Live as Jesus lived in this world.
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