Questions, Questions, Questions – Can I be like Jesus?
Philippians 2: 1-13 (NRSV)
1 If then there is any encouragement in Christ, any consolation from love, any sharing in the Spirit, any compassion and sympathy, 2 make my joy complete: be of the same mind, having the same love, being in full accord and of one mind. 3 Do nothing from selfish ambition or conceit, but in humility regard others as better than yourselves. 4 Let each of you look not to your own interests, but to the interests of others. 5 Let the same mind be in you that was in Christ Jesus,
6 who, though he was in the form of God,
did not regard equality with God
as something to be exploited,
7 but emptied himself,
taking the form of a slave,
being born in human likeness.
And being found in human form,
8 he humbled himself
and became obedient to the point of death—
even death on a cross.
9 Therefore God also highly exalted him
and gave him the name
that is above every name,
10 so that at the name of Jesus
every knee should bend,
in heaven and on earth and under the earth,
11 and every tongue should confess
that Jesus Christ is Lord,
to the glory of God the Father.
12 Therefore, my beloved, just as you have always obeyed me, not only in my presence, but much more now in my absence, work out your own salvation with fear and trembling; 13 for it is God who is at work in you, enabling you both to will and to work for his good pleasure.
What was Jesus like, and can I be like him?
The letter to the Philippians speaks of the challenge to all Christians and it gives a short and fairly comprehensive explanation of what it is to be a Christian.
To be a Christian is to be a follower of Christ, although it might be better described as being an imitator of Christ. To be a follower, you look, and see, and support. To be an imitator you actively try to emulate and copy.
Even with this this short explanation of what it means to be like Jesus, the question still remains, can I, can you, be like Jesus?
Can you be the actual divine presence on earth? No. But you have been invited to be a co-creator who — with humility and a desire to serve — lives out justice, hope and love.
As you seek to emulate Christ you will get it wrong, you will make mistakes, but that doesn’t need to stop you. You don’t need to do everything for everyone and you are not the saviour, you are simply a servant trying to live following the example Jesus gave.
Can you be like Jesus? Yes. But you cannot be Jesus.
When I ask – “Can I be like Jesus?”
Show me how to live with
Hope, justice and love.
Help me to emulate all Christ lived for
And share all he was killed for,
With hope, justice and love
So your Love is known now.