Are you a disciple of Jesus? I am not asking if you go to church, or if you call yourself a Christian. I am asking if you are His student – if you want to learn from Him how to live.
What a wonderful thing that He would be willing to teach us how to live! If anyone knows how, He surely does.
Assuming you are His disciple, how do you learn from Him? The most fundamental way, of course, is to imitate Him. He is not one of those hypocritical teachers who tells you to live a way that He Himself does not live. In fact, one of the most enriching aspects of His teaching is that we know that for anything He has said, we can look to His life and see Him flesh out that principle.
Most people know that Jesus summed up His teaching with the command to love. And to the point just made, He said, “This is My commandment that you love one another – even as I have loved you.” Therefore, our instruction can begin with this most fundamental of lessons. It is both the elementary school curriculum and the graduate degree program in the school of Christ. It the lesson we receive in the beginning and the lesson we continue learning as we take His commandment into deeper and deeper layers of our lives.
Do you ever play hooky from the school of Christ? Are there days when you haven’t even thought about living for Him? Modern life can become very busy. Some people who genuinely want to be disciples of Jesus Christ go days on end without giving much thought to practicing the lesson. Yet a day lived outside of the school of Christ is just a wasted day.
Jesus was Jew of ancient Israel. He was a carpenter, and the son of a carpenter. At the age of thirty He became an itinerant rabbi walking the roads of Galilee and Judea. Those are, of course, outward aspects of His life that He does not expect you to imitate. He loved the world in which He dwelled; He wants you to love the world in which you dwell.
He lived His life for love of God and for the good of His fellow man; this is what He asks you to do. Are you living your life this way? Do you wake up in the morning thinking about what you can do for God and others? Is this what motivates you through the day? If so, why then do you become upset when someone takes advantage of you? Or when someone takes what is yours? Or when someone treats you with a lack of respect?
Here’s an important point to catch: He teaches us by His example to live for the good of our fellow man, not the approval of our fellow man. There is a huge difference. Many people will object to your living for God and them. Strange as it sounds, they will. Of course, Jesus Himself encountered this reality in abundance. The Scriptures had prophesied that He would be “hated without a cause.” Yes, persecution is an irrational act. Nonetheless, if you are a disciple of Jesus Christ you will experience it. (Conversely, if you are never persecuted perhaps its a sign that you are not actively in His school.)
Jesus never complained about all the injustices that we’re done to Him. Instead, He kept on living for God and those around Him through it all. Is this what you are doing each day? I ask because this is what disciples of Jesus Christ do, and I wondered if you were one of them.
If you are one, He knows. If you are not, it is not too late to start.