Are we to do JUST AS Jesus did? Some bristle at a statement like that. We have been taught that Jesus’ work was unique and a onetime act. Yes, and no.
Yes, in that Jesus’ life, ministry, death, and resurrection happened ONCE FOR ALL and then He sat down, no one else BUT the incarnate Christ could accomplish. There could not have been another Lamb of God slain before the foundation of the world. No more sacrifice for sin… ever. It is finished!
And yet, in a much broader sense, Jesus’ work had only just begun. They tried to kill His BODY on this earth, only to find it “rebuilt” in three days, and now rapidly multiplying in size.
As the Captain of our faith had done, so are we to do BECAUSE we are His BODY on earth, that we might reveal His power and DO as He Did. This is what the Apostle Paul is saying when he writes, “Therefore be IMITATORS of God as dear children. And walk in love, as Christ also has loved us and given Himself for us, an offering and a sacrifice to God for a sweet-smelling aroma” (Eph 5:1-2)
This still might seem unsettling or even irreverent to some, that we could “do as Jesus did”, but let’s not let that keep us from the TRUTH. Jesus came to RESTORE and HELP us be molded into His image; back into the image of God, as it once was in the beginning.
Compare the work and ministry of Christ to what God is asking of His disciples:
JESUS WAS BORN OF THE HOLY SPIRIT. (Mat 1:18-25) He said unless we too are born of the Spirit, we cannot see the Kingdom of God. (John 3:3, 5-7)
JESUS WAS BAPTIZED that all righteousness be fulfilled. (Mat 3:15-17) We are LIKEWISE commanded by Jesus and the apostles to be baptized after repentance that we fulfill the will of God. (Acts 2:38, Mark 16:16)
JESUS WAS TEMPTED by Satan (Mat 4) and by sin, yet did NOT sin (Heb 4:15). We will LIKEWISE be tempted by Satan and are commanded to "go and sin no more." (1 Peter 5:8, John 10:10, John 5:14, John 8:11, 1 Corinthians 10:13, Romans 6:22, 1 Corinthians 15:34)
JESUS PREACHED THE GOSPEL OF THE KINGDOM OF GOD (Mat 4:17). We LIKEWISE are to proclaim the Gospel of the Kingdom, both in word and deed. (Matthew 5:14, 16, Matthew 28:19-20, 1 Peter 3:15)
JESUS CAME TO SERVE. (Matthew 20:26-28) We LIKEWISE are called to be servants. (Matthew 20:26-28)
JESUS PERFORMED SIGNS, WONDERS, MIRACLES AND GREAT WORKS (Acts 2:22). We LIKEWISE continue His work, Him working through us. (John 14:12, Mark 16:17-18, 20)
JESUS WAS REJECTED (Mk 8:31). He said we will LIKEWISE be rejected, hated, and persecuted because of Him if we are walking as He walked. (Mark 8:31, John 15:18, Matthew 10:16-22, 2 Timothy 3:12)
JESUS TOOK UP HIS CROSS. We are to do LIKEWISE. (Luke 9:23-25, Galatians 2:20, Galatians 6:14, 2 Corinthians 13:4)
JESUS GAVE HIS LIFE FOR OTHERS. We LIKEWISE are called to lay down our lives for others. (Matthew 20:28, 1 John 3:16, John 12:24-26)
JESUS WAS RESURRECTED (John 20:6-9). LIKEWISE those who have been buried with Him through repentance and baptism are resurrected to NEW LIFE, now spiritually, then physically. (Romans 6:2-5, Philippians 3:10-11)
JESUS IS SEATED IN HEAVEN (Mk 16:19, Col 3:1). LIKEWISE we are seated with Him. (Philippians 3:20, Colossians 1:13)
JESUS IS KING AND HIGH PRIEST (John 17:37, Heb 7:26-28). Amazingly, we are kings and priests in God's Kingdom! (Revelation 1:6, 1 Peter 2:5, 9-10)
Now for the most challenging aspect of “just as Jesus did.”
Jesus did all of this as one man, powerfully anointed by the Holy Spirit and in the love and direction of His Heavenly Father. We are also called to be anointed by the Spirit of God and promised that both Jesus and His Father will make their home in us to help us walk as Jesus walked.
BUT, there is one HUGE difference. We cannot do His work ALONE, as individuals with individual ministries and agendas. No, it simply is not possible as a bunch of lonerangers. Rather, God has revealed that His BODY would be composed of MANY members working TOGETHER. The “least of these My brethren” members would be prized!
And NONE would or could be the HEAD, as that honor eternally belongs to the resurrected Christ! We err by either over-lording authority, on the one hand, or by rejecting the God-given authority of true apostles, prophets, evangelists, pastors (elders) and teachers. While none of those in authority will ever be the Head, and they do have authority, oversight, and much responsibility for souls, and we are told to make it easy for them to do their jobs as they will give an account for our souls someday before the Lord.
The point is… He is RISEN and is still walking the earth IF we are willing to BE His BODY!
How easy it seems to be “just me and God” and to leave it at that. How comforting it feels to say “Jesus has done it all” and to go on living OUR life rather than allowing Him to live through us.
But how OBESE is that camel squeezing through the über petite eye of the needle when we don’t truly demonstrate godly, servant-like, actionable LOVE for one another.
We are His Body…
His will is accomplished first and foremost when His BODY is healthy, nourished with love, encouragement, and care FOR one another and BY one another. Only when we begin to esteem others better than ourselves will we see the POWER He has promised. No, not more emotional church theatrics, but true signs and wonders and miracles, and the amazement of an onlooking world in seeing a demonstration of the POWER of God through mere clay vessels. (2 Corinthians 4:7)
Sadly, because of division and lack of unity, His BODY has been subjected to life-threatening abuse and has appeared more like the butchered concubine by the self-serving Levite (Judges 19). Worse yet, this severed corpse has often been sent out to the ends of the earth to proclaim the “Good News” of God’s Kingdom.
Something MUST change. A change of heart toward God and man. Repentance is the key.
The Perfect Bonding Agent? Love.
We need the beautifully arrayed Bride of Christ sent out with her flowing robe of KINGDOM WORKS and FULL OF FIRST LOVE for her Bridegroom Jesus! (Rev 19:5-8)
Blessedly, I see God reaching out, building up, faithfully reminding, comforting, warning, and BEING the power for those who are answering the high calling of Christ.
To sum it up, “He who says he abides in Him ought himself also to walk just as He walked” (1 John 2:6)
Let’s follow in His footsteps today and love one another as He has loved us. We’re one step closer to His coming and many still do not KNOW Him.