One of the biggest mistakes I continually make is to look at Jesus, and his life, and tell myself – “Live like that.”
Maybe a bigger one has been to suggest the same thing to other people.
Now, you may be thinking, “Doesn’t the Bible tell us to do that? Doesn’t it say we ‘ought to walk in the same way in which he walked’?” (1 John 2:6) Well, yes it does, but it does not leave out a key ingredient that we often do.
The Gospel says that as we abide in him, and he in us, it is then we may walk in the way in which he walked. So often, when trying to be like him, in our thinking we leave this out.
William Temple – in a deeply encouraging word for our hearts this morning – tells us how to live like Christ:
“It is no good giving me a play like Hamlet or King Lear, and telling me to write a play like that. Shakespeare could do it — I can’t.
And it is no good showing me a life like the life of Jesus and telling me to live a life like that. Jesus could do it — I can’t.
But if the genius of Shakespeare could come and live in me, then I could write plays like this. And if the Spirit could come into me, then I could live a life like his.” (HT: Of First Importance)
And that’s exactly what the Gospel tells us – Jesus comes and lives in us.
An old poem I’ve memorized by John Bunyan says it this way:
Run John run the law demands,
But gives us neither feet nor hands,
far better news the Gospel brings,
it bids us fly and gives us wings.
Flying with you because of the Gospel,