In following Jesus, the Bible tells us in Jesus’ own words, that we are to be imitators of Him. Luke 6:40 says, “A pupil is not above his teacher; but everyone, after he has been fully trained, will be like his teacher.” (NASB) This is part of Jesus’ Sermon on the Mount, and He is giving instructions to those who are listening. He gives what we know as The Beatitudes, or as one Sunday School teacher put it, “Bee- Attitudes”, where each little bee on the board was one of the beatitudes. This is how our actions and attitudes should be toward others.
In this setting, Jesus is the teacher. He is instructing them on how they should love one another, how they should not judge each other and treat others. In fact, he reprimands them for being judgmental in verses 41-42, reminding them not to be critical of some minor thing in someone else’s life, while all the while they have some big, glaring thing in their lives that they need to deal with. What Jesus is saying is that we are to imitate Him! Our actions and attitudes should be just like His. This is part of following Him.
Now, God knows that we are not perfect and that this is going to be a life-long process for us. In following Jesus, we must do the hard work of changing our attitudes so that we reflect the attitude of Christ. If we fail to have the attitude of Christ then we must remember to stomp down the fleshly nature and keep it under our feet, that way Christ can be elevated. That’s following Jesus where the rubber meets the road. It’s getting down to the nitty-gritty.
We are to be imitators of Christ. The Apostle Paul encouraged the Corinthians of this very fact. I Corinthians 11:1 says, “Be imitators of me, as I also am of Christ.” (NASB) Paul’s life was such that he could honestly say that he was imitating Jesus and was confident enough to tell the Corinthians that they should follow his example. When we exhibit Jesus’ likeness, others see Him in us. When we allow Jesus to be on the throne of our hearts, He has full control over every area of our lives.
Are we always successful in exhibiting Christlikeness? No! That’s why this is an ongoing struggle for each of us. Situations come up where the old man wants to stick up his ugly head and take control. That my friends can be a fight! Why? Because our enemy, Satan, doesn’t want us to be like Jesus because when we are showing Jesus’ love and attitudes to the world around us, His presence is inviting to others, and unbelievers will begin to desire what we have… a life controlled by Jesus.
We are to be that light and salt to the world. (Matthew 5:13-16) Showing Jesus to the world is done in how we follow Him daily in our walk with Him. It comes through in our thoughts, our speech, in our works, in our attitudes, and in every area of our lives. Following Jesus is hard sometimes, but when we surrender ourselves to His authority, we find that we are living lives of Spiritual peace, contentment, and joy. That’s what others are looking for, and they will want what we have.