25. To Imitate Christ

There has never been a teacher quite like Jesus, who *practically* demonstrated every lesson he taught. The most notable lesson was, perhaps, on the day of the Last Supper when he got down to his knees before sinful men and washed their feet. When he was done, he said: “You call me ‘Teacher’ and ‘Lord,’ and rightly so, for that is what I am. Now that I, your Lord and Teacher, have washed your feet, you also should wash one another’s feet. I have set you an example that you should do as I have done for you” (John 13:13-15).

Unlike the Pharisees, whom he often berated for not practicing what they preached, Jesus never told anybody to do anything that he hadn’t demonstrated himself; not one thing. If we want to live in the fullness of our faith, then we need to model ourselves around Jesus. We have already seen his great sense of humility. What other things did he do that we need to do? Well, we need to pray. Jesus prayed constantly, and when his fame with the ensuing crowds prevented him from praying at will, he would wake up early to spend time with his Father. See Mark 1:35 for just one such example.

Jesus also fasted. Immediately after he was baptized by John the Baptist, Scripture says, “Jesus was led up by the Spirit into the wilderness to be tempted by the devil. And he fasted forty days and forty nights” (Matthew 4:1-2). Nobody suddenly takes off into the desert and fasts for forty days unless one has made a habit of it, so it stands to reason that Jesus had been fasting regularly before he did this long fast. On more than one occasion, he has suggested that his followers fast too. See Mark 9:29, Matthew 9:15, and Matthew 6:16. Not only does it make for good spiritual discipline, but fasting also increases our dependence on God.

And during this occasion of the temptation, Jesus demonstrated that he knew the Scriptures. When tempted in the desert, the devil tried to entice him several times, but each time Jesus responded with words from the Bible (see Matthew 4:1-11). “Man shall not live on bread alone, but on every word that comes from the mouth of God,” he said the first time, quoting Deuteronomy 8:3. “Do not put the Lord your God to the test,” he said the second time quoting Deuteronomy 6:16. And the third time he quoted Deuteronomy 6:13 when he said, “Worship the Lord your God, and serve him only.”

Then, he taught us to serve rather than be served. One day Jesus called his apostles, who were fighting among themselves about who would sit at his right and left in heaven. He said to them (I paraphrase), “You know that in the world people who want to be great lord it over each other. But it should not be like this among you. Whoever wishes to become great among you must be your servant, and whoever wishes to be first among you must be slave of all. For the Son of Man came not to be served but to serve, and to give his life a ransom for many” (Mark 10:42-45).

Finally, although I am sure there are many more lessons to be learned from how he lived, Jesus led a life of subservience to the will of God. It isn’t easy being subservient to the will of God because not only is it difficult at times, but it can also be very painful. Jesus understood this all too well, and in the Garden of Gethsemane, he sweated blood as he begged that the cup that awaited him be taken away from him. “Yet not my will, but yours be done,” he said (Luke 22:42).

Let us choose to live in imitation of Christ and be able to say to others as Paul said to us: Follow my example, as I follow the example of Christ (1 Corinthians 11:1). God bless you.

More in this category: « 24. Encouragement 04. Rest »
Click here for the extended "LIVE" versions: 1. Abundant Life
2. Perseverance
3. Humility
4. Rest
5. To Abide
6. To Wait
7. To Look Ahead
8. Light
9. Grace
10. Contentment
11. Love
12. Repentance
13. To Forgive
14. To Surrender
15. Joy
16. Faith
17. Discipline
18. Hope
19. Freedom
20. Gratitude
21. To Listen
22. Truth
23. Peace
24. Encouragement
25. To Imitate Christ
26. Friendship
27. Unity
28. To Remember
29. Conversion
30. Generosity
31. Revival
32. Integrity
33. Excellence
34. To Serve
35. Tongue Control
36. Courage
37. Wisdom
38. Purity
39. Stewardship
40. To Evangelize
Choice 01 — I Choose Abundant Life
Choice 01 — I Choose Abundant Life
Today, in our series on *40 Choices*, we choose the *Abundant Life*. Please share the video and bless others.
To watch an *expanded 30-minute live version* of this reflection, please visit https://bit.ly/ichooseabundantlife
Transcript
Jesus said: “The thief comes only to steal Read More
Choice 02: I Choose Perseverance
Choice 02: I Choose Perseverance
Today, in our series on *40 Choices*, we choose *Perseverance*. Please share the video and bless others.
To watch an *expanded 30-minute live version* of this reflection, please visit : https://bit.ly/ichooseperseverance
Transcript
One day Jesus told his disciples a parable to show Read More
Choice 03: I Choose Humility
Choice 03: I Choose Humility
Today, in our series on *40 Choices*, we choose *Humility*. Please share the video and bless others.
To watch an expanded 30-minute live version of this reflection, please visit: https://bit.ly/ichoosehumility
Transcript
One day when Jesus was dining with a group of Read More
Choice 04: I Choose Rest
Choice 04: I Choose Rest
Today, in our series on *40 Choices*, we choose *To Rest*. Please share the video and bless others.
To watch an expanded 30-minute live version of this reflection, please visit: https://bit.ly/ichooserest
Transcript
Jesus said, “Come to me, all you who are weary Read More
Choice 05: I Choose to Abide
Choice 05: I Choose to Abide
Today, in our series on *40 Choices*, we choose *To Abide*. Please share the video and bless others.
To watch an expanded 30-minute live version of this reflection, please visit: https://bit.ly/ichoosetoabide
Transcript
One of the loveliest pictures Jesus painted is the one Read More
Choice 06: I Choose to Wait
Choice 06: I Choose to Wait
Today, in our series on *40 Choices*, we choose to *Wait*. Please share the video and bless others.
To watch an expanded 30-minute live version of this reflection, please visit: https://bit.ly/ichoosetowait
Transcript
One of my favorite passages of Scripture — I have Read More
Choice 07: I Choose to Look Ahead
Choice 07: I Choose to Look Ahead
Today, in our series on *40 Choices*, we choose to *Look Ahead*. Please share the video and bless others. 
To watch an *expanded 30-minute live version* of this reflection, please visit https://bit.ly/ichoosetolookahead.
Transcript
Disappointments are a part of life. So is failure. So, also Read More
Choice 08: I Choose Light
Choice 08: I Choose Light
Today, in our series on *40 Choices*, we choose *Light*. Please share the video and bless others.
To watch an *expanded 30-minute live version* of this reflection, please visit https://bit.ly/ichooselight.
Transcript
Have you ever had to navigate a room in the darkness? Read More
Choice 09: I Choose Grace
Choice 09: I Choose Grace
Today, in our series on *40 Choices*, we choose *Grace*. Please share the video and bless others. 
To watch an *expanded 30-minute version* of this reflection, please https://bit.ly/ichoosegrace.
Transcript
John Bradford was an English Reformer who lived in the 16th century. One day Read More
Choice 10: I Choose Contentment
Choice 10: I Choose Contentment
Today, in our series on *40 Choices*, we choose *Contentment*. Please share the video and bless others. 
To watch an *expanded 30-minute version* of this reflection, please visit https://bit.ly/ichoosecontentment.
Transcript
In his letter to the Philippians, Paul wrote: "I know what it is Read More

Load More