by Lim Chong Teck
Two months ago I started to read again the four Gospels though I have read them many times before. I thought that it would be good to know more about Jesus as He is our example in life. For even hereunto were ye called: because Christ also suffered for us, leaving us an example, that ye should follow his steps. (1 Peter 2:21); Let this mind be in you, which was also in Christ Jesus. (Philippians 2:5); He that saith he abideth in him ought himself also so to walk, even as he walked. (1John 2:6)
If we do not know Him or about Him then how can He be our example. So I embarked on a journey to 2000 years ago, sometimes imagining being there during His time, wondering at times of the many different responses that people had towards Him and His teachings. He was an incredible person in His wisdom, character, teachings, power and His relationship with God and man.
Last month I heard a lesson from Bro. Chang Long Jong on Jesus as our example in work. He used John 9:4 as the text. In short he gave some pointers from the text.
1. Work is given to us by God. It is used to fill up our time with productive meaning as a means to earn and to provide for ourselves and share with others. In some instances even to enjoy the work done or feel the satisfaction that it accomplishes.
2. God as our motivation to work. In the course of our work there are times when we will be tired or our work may lose its meaning because we have forgotten the purpose of what we do. It is when we remember that our purpose is to do it as for God, for a higher course and eternal meaning and reward that it will help us to see our work in a clearer and more meaningful manner. Thus we can rejuvenate our passion for work.
3. Work has a time frame. We need to work while it is day or while time is available. We need to work while we have the strength and while we have the time. There will come a time when work will stop for us, whether it is our career or work for God’s kingdom. We need to remember in our reaching to others about Christ that our work is limited to both ours and their time on earth. It may be we cannot do the work because we are no longer here or the person with whom we want to share the gospel has gone from this world. Work while it is day, when opportunity abounds and time is still available.
I realize that Jesus is an example to many of our brethren. I hope more will share with us of how Jesus has been an example in their lives. I will continue “to keep the ball rolling” by sharing one of the lessons that I learnt from reading the Gospels.
It is about parenting. As I was reading the bible one night, I thought “did Jesus leave us an example about parenting?” In John 13:33 He called His apostles “little children.” That was how he viewed them. “He having loved his own which were in the world, he loved them unto the end.” John 13:1. He viewed them as how a parent would their children, loving them and doing all for their good even if it means giving their lives for their children.
John 17 tells us some of the things He did for them.
1. John 17: 8 – Jesus has given his “little children” the words which God gave Him. John 5: 19-20 tells us how God the Father shows unto the Son all things. Just as he was taught by His Father, Jesus taught “his little children” the words He was given. As parents we need to teach our children God’s word, talk to them about God while they are young and tell them what God means to us. John 17: 6 tells us to manifest God’s name to them.
2. John 17: 9 – Jesus prayed for His “little children.” Do we pray for our children regularly and consistently? We need to pray for their physical needs as well as their spiritual needs. When we are balanced in what we ask for them, we will be more consistent in guiding them in their lives.
3. John 17: 19 – Jesus sanctifies Himself. By sanctifying Himself, the apostles could be sanctified by the truth. He could with His perfect sacrifice sanctify us through His blood (Heb 10:10) by the word (Eph 5:26). In doing so He became an example and influence to those who were with Him. We can emulate His example through sanctification so that our children can live in an environment that will influence them for good. They can see consistencies in our lives and also be sanctified by the word we teach and by the word we and they live by. Our faithfulness to God helps to keep them faithful by being an example and good influence.
4. John 17: 12 – Jesus kept His “little children” in God’s name. He took care of them and protected them as God would have him do. Jesus took care of their physical and spiritual needs. He taught and guided them, and by doing all the points mentioned He has kept them in God’s name. While He did not have 100% success, yet He was able to keep the rest in spite of their ups and downs to be faithful to God.
5. John 17: 11 Jesus commits His “little children” to God. In a world where there are uncertainties and the certainty of death, we need to learn from Jesus who having done all He could, was able to commit them to God’s keeping. When we have done all we can, we need to trust that God will take care of them when we commit to Him. Perhaps in addition, like Jesus whose care for His mother Mary was constant in His mind even at the point of death, we could find a faithful person whom we could rely on to help our love ones (John 19:26-27).
I believe we would be better people if we stop to think about how Jesus lived His life. By following His example we would bring more good and no harm to our fellow men. Indeed His ways are higher than our ways and His thoughts higher than our thoughts. Let’s spend more time learning from Him, Jesus our Lord.