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Devotions > Just Like Jesus?

27 Jan 2014

What can we learn from Jesus?   This is perhaps the question that we should be asking several times each day.     Recently the Lord highlighted a section in the Book of John that has several similar thoughts that seem to supplicate this subject.  So we will attempt to address this question specifically as it speaks to these selected sections of scripture. [ John Chapters 7-9 ]

The scope of our assessment could perhaps be described as a consideration of Jesus’ relationship with His Father regarding specifically those actions and attitudes that apply to our lives.  

                             John 7:16-18 (NASB95) 
16 So Jesus answered them and said, "My teaching is not Mine, but His who sent Me.”
17 "If anyone is willing to do His will, he will know of the teaching, whether it is of God or whether I speak from Myself. 
18 "He who speaks from himself seeks his own glory; but He who is seeking the glory of the One who sent Him, He is true, and there is no unrighteousness in Him. 
 (emphasis added)

Jesus tells us that His teaching is not really His but rather it is from His Father who sent Him.   If Jesus had simply said that His teaching was from the Father that would be one thing, but when He adds that His teaching is not His, we must conclude that He had to get His teaching exclusively from His Father.   In other words it did not just happen that His teaching was the same as His Father.  But rather Jesus was required to be in such intimate and constant communication with the Father that He could teach exactly the teaching of His Father at all times.  Additionally, His attitude is described as always seeking to bring glory to His Father.

Jesus was opposed by those who were dedicated to watching for and waiting for the Messiah.   Because Jesus did not fit into their preconceived self-serving perspectives, they rejected Him as the Messiah.   Those who opposed Jesus had made up their minds based on their own criteria conceived in their glory seeking hearts that He did not conform to their definition of the Messiah.   They took parts and pieces of the written Word to fabricate a self serving cast iron structure into which they attempted to fit the Holy One of God.  God did not need their help to define His Messiah.   Man will never be given the position of judge of the activities and attitudes of God! [see Job Chapters 38-42]

John 7:28-29 (NASB95) 
28 Then Jesus cried out in the temple, teaching and saying, "You both know Me and know where I am from; and I have not come of Myself, but He who sent Me is true, whom you do not know. 
29 "I know Him, because I am from Him, and He sent Me."

Jesus’ opponents were confident that because they knew Him and where He was from, that He could not be the long awaited Messiah.    But in reality they neither knew Him nor knew where He was from.     Jesus clearly stated to them that He came from the Father and the Father sent Him into this world.   

We observe in these verses the submission and obedience of Jesus to the will and plan of His Father.  Perhaps we should conclude that coupled with His constant intimacy we also observe Jesus’ faultless submission to every desire of His Father.

John 7:33-34 (NASB95) 
33 Therefore Jesus said, "For a little while longer I am with you, then I go to Him who sent Me. 
34 "You will seek Me, and will not find Me; and where I am, you cannot come."

Here Jesus seems to be telling us that He not only came from God and was sent by God but soon He would return to the very God Who sent Him.   He also spoke these things with such confidence that He spoke as if it had already happened.   From where would such a strong confidence come?

John 8:16-18 (NASB95) 
16 "But even if I do judge, My judgment is true; for I am not alone in it, but I and the Father who sent Me. 
17 "Even in your law it has been written that the testimony of two men is true. 
18 "I am He who testifies about Myself, and the Father who sent Me testifies about Me."

Matthew 3:16-17 (NASB95) 
16 After being baptized, Jesus came up immediately from the water; and behold, the heavens were opened, and he saw the Spirit of God descending as a dove and lighting on Him, 
17 and behold, a voice out of the heavens said, "This is My beloved Son, in whom I am well-pleased." 
(emphasis added)

Later Peter writes concerning the confirmation of Jesus by His Father on the Mountain of Transfiguration.

2 Peter 1:16-18 (NASB95) 
16 For we did not follow cleverly devised tales when we made known to you the power and coming of our Lord Jesus Christ, but we were eyewitnesses of His majesty. 
17 For when He received honor and glory from God the Father, such an utterance as this was made to Him by the Majestic Glory, "This is My beloved Son with whom I am well-pleased"— 
18 and we ourselves heard this utterance made from heaven when we were with Him on the holy mountain. 
(emphasis added)

Jesus is constantly lifting up His Father and the Father also provided confirmation of His commissioning of His Son.

John 8:26-29 (NASB95) 
26 "I have many things to speak and to judge concerning you, but He who sent Me is true; and the things which I heard from Him, these I speak to the world." 
27 They did not realize that He had been speaking to them about the Father. 
28 So Jesus said, "When you lift up the Son of Man, then you will know that I am He, and I do nothing on My own initiative, but I speak these things as the Father taught Me. 
29 "And He who sent Me is with Me; He has not left Me alone, for I always do the things that are pleasing to Him." 
(emphasis added)

There seems to be a strong inference in the verse above to a cause and effect connection between obedience and the presence of God, an obedience which abides within the confines of a personal loving relationship of Father and Son.

John 8:42 (NASB95) 
42 Jesus said to them, "If God were your Father, you would love Me, for I proceeded forth and have come from God, for I have not even come on My own initiative, but He sent Me.

John 9:4 (NASB95) 
"We must work the works of Him who sent Me as long as it is day; night is coming when no one can work.

Jesus clearly understands that He has been sent by His Father at the specific initiative of Him.

Now that we have examined these scriptures and a part of what they instruct, before we move our focus from the relationship and response of Jesus to His Father to our response and relationship with the Father, we should consider the primary responses of Jesus that positioned Him in permanent partnership with His Father.

Let’s consider first His love for the Father.  Jesus implies that His love, the love that motivated Him to willingly give His life for us, is in response to the Father’s love for him.

   John 17:24-26 (NASB95) 
24 "Father, I desire that they also, whom You have given Me, be with Me where I am, so that they may see My glory which You have given Me, for You loved Me before the foundation of the world. 
25 "O righteous Father, although the world has not known You, yet I have known You; and these have known that You sent Me; 
26 and I have made Your name known to them, and will make it known, so that the love with which You loved Me may be in them, and I in them."

Here Jesus prays that we might experience this same love.

Another consideration is prayer.    Jesus’ habit was to constantly go to His Father in prayer.   In everything He did it seems that He first prepared by praying, communicating with His Father.   How else can Jesus say that He always does the things that are pleasing to His Father?

As you carefully consider the things that Jesus did, which ones are available to you and me?   Can we pray without ceasing?    Can we receive the great love that the Father has for us as His children?    Can we make it our primary goal to always bring God glory?  Has God called you to serve Him?  Are you sent by God?   Are you obeying His call?    Jesus has walked as it were through the deep snow of life leaving large footprints for us to follow.    Is it possible to have a better plan?   

Following requires very little strategic planning; little study of demographics.   Following does require dying to self.  It does require regulating our love such that we love not the things of this world.   It does require us to discard the thinking of this world such as the charting of nickels and noses to determine how we are doing. 

Jesus followed God’s plan when it seemed positively ludicrous to all but Jesus and His Father.   His ways are not our ways, and His thoughts are not our thoughts.   How did Jesus know what to do next?   I believe that He prayed probably often with questions, petitions for direction and power to execute the will of His Father.    As His Father provided direction He instantly and accurately obeyed.

For maximum personal growth: carefully and prayerfully look over these scriptures once again.    Ask the Holy Spirit to show you …..  what actions or attitudes do you need to adjust in order to become more like Jesus?   Then ask God for His direction and strength to make these changes.   Write down what God has shown you, expressed in measurable terms.   Accountability is a little used but powerful ally to help us follow through on what God has instructed.   Provide to at least one other person in writing what God desires you to change and ask them to hold you accountable to obey God’s specific directions.   You will never regret taking steps of asking for insight followed by obedience with accountability.

James 1:22-25 (NASB77) 
22 But prove yourselves doers of the word, and not merely hearers who delude themselves. 
23 For if anyone is a hearer of the word and not a doer, he is like a man who looks at his natural face in a mirror; 
24 for once he has looked at himself and gone away, he has immediately forgotten what kind of person he was. 
25 But one who looks intently at the perfect law, the law of liberty, and abides by it, not having become a forgetful hearer but an effectual doer, this man shall be blessed in what he does.       
(emphasis added)

Jeff Williams