Thursday, January 15, 2009

Being Like Jesus

The other night in our emergent cohort meeting, we were discussing what it means to be like Jesus Christ, and if, in fact, we can ever be like Christ. For what it's worth, here are my thoughts.

I believe that there is a sense in which we can never be like Jesus. He is God, we are not and never will be. On the other hand, Paul tells us that the good that God works for us in all things is becoming like Jesus. To the first century Jew, discipleship meant being like the rabbi, learning to relate to God the way the rabbi did. So, how do we become like Jesus?

I think part of the answer lies in the concept of the disciple becoming like the rabbi in the way he related to God. Jesus relationship with God was a relationship of love and oneness. In the Garden of Eden the relationship between God and Adam and Eve was a relationship of love and oneness. Sin broke that relationship. Jesus came to restore that oneness. His sacrifice on the cross removed the barrier between us and God. Now, we can have a relationship of love and oneness with the Father. As we learn to follow our Rabbi closer, and grow in our faith and trust in him, we learn how to relate to the Father the same way Jesus does. The more we relate to God in love and oneness, the more we relate to those around us in the same way. In this way we fulfill the two greatest commands: love God and love others. So, we are formed into the image of Christ.


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