IMITATING JESUS                                    1 John 2:3–8

As I write this, my children are going through a phase where they are trying to improve their ability to draw. To help with this, they watch videos of experts drawing a picture. They pause the video every few seconds and try to imitate what the expert did. Over the course of the video, they will have created their own copy of the drawing.:29

Imitation is one of the most effective ways for us to learn any craft. One of the precious gifts that God has given us in Christ is the example of His life. As you’ve read the Bible, you may have wondered, “What would it look like for someone to perfectly live out this biblical vision for humanity?” The good news is that we have an answer to that question. One of the reasons Jesus became a human was to show how God intends for us to live.

In today’s reading, John challenges his readers to follow the example of Jesus. How do we know that we have come to faith in Christ? John explains that one way to be assured of this is that we “keep his commands” (v. 3). Of course, keeping commands does not save us. But the result of salvation is that we will live a transformed life. John summarizes this truth by saying, “Whoever claims to live in him must live as Jesus did” (v. 6).

As one commentator put it, “Our goal should be to be like Christ all our days, up to the point of death, and to die with unfailing obedience to God, with strong trust in him, and with love and forgiveness to others.”

The example of Jesus is both a gift and a challenge. It is a gift because we have been given such a clear example to imitate. We are not trying to figure this out in the dark. It is a challenge because we must continue to examine Jesus’ life and rely on God’s Spirit to change us into His image.

PRAYER LINE: Almighty God, You want us to be transformed into the image of Your Son, but we cannot rely on our strength or abilities to accomplish anything. We ask You to do this work by Your Spirit. Amen!

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