Paul tells us in 1 Corinthians 11 to emulate him as he copies Christ.
1 Corinthians 11:1 Imitate me, just as I also imitate Christ.
So, what does that mean, to imitate Christ? Let’s look at all the interactions with people that Jesus had just in Matthew 9. Is this what He meant when we are told to imitate Him?
In Matthew 9 verses 2 through 7 He healed a person whose was paralyzed.
Matthew 9:8 Now when the multitudes saw it, they marveled and glorified God, who had given such power to men.
Many people wanted to be with Him to see the wonderful things He was doing. Verse 10 says tax collectors and sinners sat with Him to eat. In verse 18 a ruler interrupted Jesus while He was talking to ask Him to come raise his daughter from the dead. On His way to the ruler’s house, as the crowd pressed in on Him, a sick woman touched Him. He took time to talk with her and heal her of her infirmity.
After He raised the ruler’s daughter from the dead, two blind men followed Him. He touched them and gave them their sight. Then people brought a mute who was demon possessed to Him. He cast out the demon and the person spoke for the first time.
Matthew 9:35-36 sums up how Jesus felt for people.
Matthew 9:35-36 35 Then Jesus went about all the cities and villages, teaching in their synagogues, preaching the gospel of the kingdom, and healing every sickness and every disease among the people. 36 But when He saw the multitudes, He was moved with compassion for them, because they were weary and scattered, like sheep having no shepherd.
Jesus was very popular. People wanted to be around Him. They wanted to hear His teachings and preaching. They wanted to experience His miracles and healings. We see in verse 36 how He felt about those people. He was moved with compassion for them. He saw them as sheep needing a shepherd. This is why He gave His disciples a new commandment.
John 13:34 A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another; as I have loved you, that you also love one another.
We are told that as we serve Christ in expressing peace and joy to our fellow man, God accepts us and men approve of our actions. Romans 14 tells us to chase after or hunt for things that make for peace and build others up.
Romans 14:17-19 17 for the kingdom of God is not eating and drinking, but righteousness and peace and joy in the Holy Spirit. 18 For he who serves Christ in these things is acceptable to God and approved by men. 19 Therefore let us pursue the things which make for peace and the things by which one may edify another.
Remember, He is in us and His Spirit flows through us. People always reacted to Him. Do others want to be around us because the peace and joy of Jesus is so apparent in our lives?
Acts 3:6-8 6 Then Peter said, “Silver and gold I do not have, but what I do have I give you: In the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth, rise up and walk.” 7 And he took him by the right hand and lifted him up, and immediately his feet and ankle bones received strength. 8 So he, leaping up, stood and walked and entered the temple with them — walking, leaping, and praising God.
Let me ask you something. Do people leap for joy when we meet them? Or do they leap up to run in another direction? People should notice a difference in us. They should notice something within us that makes them want to be around us.
Jesus is in us. Letting Him work through our lives as we rest in Him will bring His fruit out in us. The more we understand that His grace is a free gift to us for our benefit, the more we will want to submit to Him, the more we will want to commune with Him, the more we will want to worship Him, and the more we will be like Him. The more we let Him fill us with His love, His mercy and His grace, the more we will reflect those characteristics to the people around us.
Focus on Jesus today!