Disciples Imitate their Master

September 12, 2013 — 1 Comment

i am a disciple LOGOIn our series, I am a Disciple, we began with a sermon on the meaning of following or imitating Christ. Our modern use of “Imitate” might take us to thoughts of “cheap imitation” or mimicing someone’s accent or mannerisms.  But to imitate Jesus is very different! Mark’s Gospel, though it doesn’t have long sections of teaching or dialog like the other Gospels, strongly demonstrates imitation. To follow Jesus will mean walking in his steps.  A cross-shaped life of self-sacrifice. As Jesus – so his followers. (e.g. Mark 8:34-38)

Jason Hood, (Imitating God in Christ,shows that Imitation in the New Testament doesn’t mean trying to copy specific details like clothing, it means “actions and mindsets that reflect the actions and mindsets of another.” It is following the patterns of Jesus creatively; akin to walking, following, “putting on Christ,” apprenticeship – and therefore is at the heart of discipleship. (p. 12)

Referring to the great Church Father Athanasius, Graham Tomlin says: “…the whole point of God becoming human was that we might be reformed into likeness to God, so that we might become images of God and imitators of Christ.”

Of course, imitation is not a means to becoming a Christian. It is an overflow.  It is grace that brings us into God’s family.  As Martin Luther reminds: “It is not imitation that makes sons; it is adoption that makes imitators!”

(Hood, p. 84) This is God’s ultimate purpose for us – to be “conformed into the likeness of His Son!” As The Message puts it: “The Son stands first in the line of humanity he restored. We see the original and intended shape of our lives there in him.”

How will you and I “creatively imitate” Jesus today?


One response to Disciples Imitate their Master

    Michael P. DeFrancesco September 16, 2013 at 5:59 pm

    Hi Lyle,
    1. This is my first ever blog-response. I am glad that it is Jesus-oriented because He is the most important person in my life.
    2. This discipleship series is really striking a responsive chord in my life because, for the last two years, I have been studying Jesus’ teachings about the “true” cost, or “high” cost of following Him as a disciple. I am now trying to integrate your sermon contents with my personal study notes.
    3. Most puzzling to me so far are His comments in Matthew 7:22 (to supposed followers/disciples?), “…I never knew you, depart from Me you who practice lawlessness.” I suppose that this shows that it is very possible for some people to do spectacular works in the name of Jesus, without having a genuine faith in Him. Only Jesus can know our true hearts and faith as we labor in this life for Him. I think of false prophets, or wolves in sheep’s clothing, or “prosperity” preachers on TV, etc., as examples of Christ-followers who may be leading other disciples astray.
    4. The other disciple example I think of is Judas Iscariot who walked with and followed Jesus for 3 1/2 years—yet betrayed Him at the very end. He certainly looked and acted like the other “true” disciples right up to the Last Supper, yet we know he as a false disciple used by Satan in the close group of 12. This is really scary.

    Anyway, the above are just some various thoughts about making sure we (I) following Jesus His way, and not our way.

    Thank you and may continue to bless you teaching ministry at Christ Church.
    Mike DeFrancesco

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