Many of us do not consider ourselves teachers. If we don't stand in a pulpit on Sunday or lead a study during the week, we may be tempted to think this aspect of Jesus' life doesn't apply to us. However, that understanding of teaching is too narrow. Jesus taught when he conversed one on one with Nicodemus and when he preached to thousands of people. His life shows us that teaching doesn't demand an outline with three points that begin with the same letter. Teaching simply requires being so filled with God's Word that it naturally overflows from our lives into the lives of those around us.
6. He served
Service marked Jesus' life from start to finish. He served through sacrifice, putting the needs of others above his own. At the last supper, he put on a towel and washed his disciples' feet (John 13:2-17). His life of service culminated at the cross, where the Son of Man died to pay our spiritual debt.
Sometimes I feel I'm so busy doing God's work that I don't have time for people. But God's work is people! His business is helping a homeless couple find shelter before nightfall. His business is praying with a child for her sick kitty and reading the Bible with a new Christian. His business is pushing a stalled car through the intersection and taking that midnight phone call from a struggling friend.
7. He equipped leaders
Finally, Jesus demonstrated God's character by equipping leaders who continued his mission and changed the world after his departure. He refused to let the ministry pressures of today stop him from identifying and investing in the leaders of tomorrow (Matt. 10:1-4).
I meet weekly with three young men. I believe each one has great potential for God's work. For me, following Jesus means passing on the Scriptures to them, modeling a Christ-focused life and ministry, and helping them identify and prepare for the mission God has designed for them.
Beyond the fad
So what would Jesus do? He would seek the Father for the strength and wisdom to embrace, restore, confront, teach, serve, and equip the people around him.
These seven priorities should drive us back to the gospels to take a fresh look at how Jesus lived. The fad phase of WWJD may be over, but we need to hold on to those bracelets and keep asking ourselves—What would Jesus do? It's a great question. But remember: If you're not sure what Jesus actually did in his life, then you're just guessing at what he might do in yours.
Adapted from Discipleship Journal (Nov./Dec. 2000), 2000 Mike Fleischmann. Used by permission. Fleischmann is senior pastor at First Baptist Church in Albany, Oregon.
Copyright 2003 by the author or Christianity Today/Books & Culture magazine.
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