Wednesday, August 5, 2009

I want to be like Jesus

There's a good line, "I want to be like Jesus because my kids want to be like me." Another one goes, "Kids are great imitators. So give them something great to imitate."

Jesus said, "Come to Me, all who are weary and carrying a heavy burden, and I will give you rest for your souls. Take My yoke upon you and learn from Me, for I am gentle and humble in heart. For My yoke is easy and My burden is light."

The words gentle and humble are character traits that I long to emulate and attain. This is probably because they are so lacking in my own character. I believe Jesus when he says, "I will continue the good work that I began in you until it's completion," and I'm eager to reach that day.

Anyhow, I looked up what the words humble and gentle meant in the Greek translation of Aramaic. The word gentle meant, in part, "I'm a nobody. I'm safe. I'm not here to overpower you but only to invite you into a relationship with Me." It describes a person who has no sense of entitlement or need for recognition.

Humble, as it was used in this context was, "I'm insignificant compared to others." Jesus used the story of a Pharisee and a repentant tax collector to make His point. The Pharisee prayed, "God, I thank you that I am not like other people: swindlers, unjust, adulterers, or even like this tax collector. The tax collector, standing some distance away, was even unwilling to lift up his eyes to heaven. He was beating his breast, saying, "God, be merciful to me, a sinner!" I tell you, this man went to his house justified rather than the other; for everyone who exalts himself will be humbled, but he who humbles himself will be exalted."

Jesus was saying that He is like the tax collector. His behaviours proved His words. Jesus identified Himself with those He came to save. Jesus became lowly, humble and gentle for our sakes. He stepped down from His throne and lived our life so as to relate to us. He IS gentle and humble and He loves you more than anyone else you ever have or will ever know.

And now for His invitation. "Come, follow me." In Jesus' time, to become a disciple of someone required that the Rabbi or Teacher gave the invitation. A disciple, as Plato defined him was, "Someone who is a vessel so tightly sealed that not one drop of his leader's teaching escaped." Notice that unlike earthly teachers, Jesus did not say, "Come to my teaching," although that is involved. Rather He said, "Come to Me, and I will give you rest for your weary souls."

Jesus is inviting you, "Come learn from Me. Come follow Me. Come be like Me and live like Me. If you let Me I will teach you to live and to love as I would live and love if I were you in your situation. Do this and you will experience life and life abundantly."

Yes, Jesus calls everyone, but He also knows that not everyone will accept. Don't be a fool and ignore this honour and privilege. Accept the invitation and just - Come home.

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