READ: “For I have given you an example—you should do just as I have done for you” Jn 13.15.

THINK: Jesus offers himself as an example of humility and service to be imitated by his disciples. In many aspects, he and the Father ought to be imitated, Ex 12.42; Mt 5.48; Mk 10.38-39; Col 3.13; Eph 5.1; Phil 2.5ff; 1 Pet 2.21-23. To do this, it is necessary to know the Bible, know how they acted, and conduct oneself according to their example. The one who imitates Jesus becomes an example to others, 1 Cor 11.1; 1 Thes 1.6-7, and puts himself forward as such, Phil 3.17; 1 Tim 4.12; 1 Pet 5.3. Continue reading

Blessed be the God who imparts to his people his own character and glory, whose righteousness endures forever, who makes the obedient to stand, who blesses continually the godly, who makes a light shine for them in the darkness, who keeps them from ever being upended, who makes the desire of the wicked to perish! What delight to serve the Lord and to obey his commands!

Psa 111 and Psa 112.

imitation of ChristOn a table in my living room sits a picture of my face (see image, right) sketched by a student, done—as it had to be, right?—in the classroom. I liked it so much that the class put it in a frame and gave it to me as a present.

The picture is a caricature.

A caricature is the representation of a person whose features are exaggerated or distorted in order to produce a comic or grotesque effect. Continue reading

Some brethren, in an attempt to avoid the commitment of marriage in Matthew 19, have affirmed that the gospels do not apply to us in the Christian era, since they belong to the old law. But the very structure of Matthew’s gospel shows differently:

Then Jesus went throughout all the towns and villages, teaching in their synagogues, preaching the good news of the kingdom, and healing every kind of disease and sickness.
Matthew 9:35 NET

This verse is almost identical to that of Matthew 4:23. The two verses frame the beginning of Christ’s ministry, describing the nature of what he does. He teaches and proclaims (chapters 5-7) and heals (chapters 8-9).

In the conclusion to this section of the gospel, immediately following the verse above, Jesus tells his disciples to pray so that God would send more workers into the harvest (verse 35). Next, in chapter 10, he sends his own disciples. (Don’t pray for something you’re not willing to do.)

Jesus sends them to do exactly what he has done: heal and preach. Though there are limits within this truth, for them, geographical (they go first only to Galilee) and, for us, ministerial (we cannot operate miracles today), the principle applies both to the message (“all I have commanded you,” 28:19) and to the practice and the fulfilling of the mission.

What Jesus did, let us also do. What Jesus taught, let us also teach.