When it comes to X there simply aren’t very many choices. However, we do have “exemplary.” As you read through the gospels and reflect on how he lived out his days, how he reacted to various situations, how he responded to need, etc., you will become increasingly aware that the Christian life is simply to live as he did. In addition to believing what he taught we are to live as he lived. He is our model so let’s watch him in his daily life with that in view. (Page references are from Jesus, In His Own Words).
As a boy of twelve he returned from Jerusalem where he had been discussing theology with the religious elite and “continued to live under his parents authority” (p. 19). He was obedient.
Although he was without sin of any kind, he was baptized along with everyone else to show his commitment to the cause (p. 25). He was humble.
Tempted by Satan he resisted (p. 26). He was true to his convictions.
Sitting by a well in Samaria he spoke to a Samaritan women about living water (p. 35), He was unconventional
Speaking in the synagogue in Nazareth he announced that he was the fulfillment of Messianic promise (p. 39). He was prophetic.
After a busy day he found a lonely place in which to pray (p. 42). He maintained his priorities.
When the religious authorities objected to his healing a withered hand on the Sabbath he was distressed by their indifference (p. 48). He was righteously angry.
On his way to be of help to the daughter of Jairus, a woman severely handicapped by hemorrhages touch his cloak and he stopped to meet her need (p. 71). He was sensitive.
He taught throughout Galilee and was followed by huge crowds with various needs (p. 73). He was compassionate.
As he travelled from town to town performing miracles, some people refused to repent of their sins (p. 81). He was critical of that reaction.
He ministered everywhere to the needy and encouraged them to come to him to learn how to meet life (p. 83). He was “gentle and humble.”
When he was with those who spoke against the Holy Spirit he called them “a brood of snakes” (p. 88). He was unafraid.
He taught spiritual truths using simple stories from everyday life (p. 91). He was wise.
When Martha complained that Mary wasn’t doing her share, Jesus spoke to her with a gentle manner. (p. 132) He was understanding.
When he went to the home of Lazarus who had died he was moved to tears (p. 180). He was empathetic.
So much more could be said about the way Jesus lived. In the garden of Gethsemane he agonized in prayer; before Pilate he did not defended himself; on the cross he forgave his executioners; after the resurrection he met with his disciples to encourage them. As we reflect on the man Jesus and how he reacted to the demands of life, we find that he was exemplary in all his ways. He is our roll model for growth in Christian character. To be a follower of Christ is to become increasingly like him. How is that going?