"Whom having not seen, ye love; in whom, though now ye see him not, yet believing, ye rejoice with joy unspeakable and full of glory: Receiving the end of your faith, even the salvation of your souls."
1 Peter 1:8-9 (KJV)
1 Peter 1:8-9 (KJV)
Share the lessons that you can draw from Jesus' example for your own program of study:
It is very difficult to think back to all the lessons Jesus has taught me by example and pick the most important. All the lessons that Jesus gave us through His Word and example are important to the understanding of God’s Kingdom, but if I had to pick three I would say He taught us how to love, He was persistent after the Father’s will, and showed us how to be wise regarding God’s ways/methods. These three elements almost sum up all of Jesus’ ministry and how He lived among men.
The first and most important lesson that Jesus taught me by example and one I strive to achieve every day, is how to love. The love of Christ was the answer to the problems of the world then and still is today. From the Greatest Commandment (Matthew 22:36-40) to the giving of His own body and life (John 3:16), Jesus showed the world through the will of the Father how to love. The Scripture is clear that we are to love God first as He loved us (1 John 4:19), but we are also to “love our neighbors as ourselves” which seems to be the opposite in today’s world. From a moral standpoint, love fixes most of our ethical issues. If we love our neighbors as ourselves, we won’t have the desire to get over on our neighbors or create problems for them through our ethical failures. If we love God first, we won’t be as tempted to break His commandments and laws. This makes love the ultimate answer to just about all of man’s woes. I have a mentor and pastor friend who has a saying that was also in our lecture this week which says, “People don’t care how much you know, until they know how much you care.” We must first win the attention of men with the example or Christ, while He wins their hearts with His love.”
The second most significant lesson that Jesus has taught me through study of His life has been that He persistently sought the Father’s will. No matter the situation, location, or destination; Jesus always had the Father’s will on His mind. Even in Luke 2:49, He seemed surprised by the fact that his family had not figured out that if He were missing that He was most likely in His Father’s House (in the Father’s will). He had not even begun His public ministry yet and He was already persistently pursuing the will of the Father. In the Garden of Gethsemane, He sought the will of the Father over His own physical desire. He completely surrendered Himself to the will of the Father. When He was on the way to places to minister to the lost, He may have done some side ministry along the way, but only when the will of the Father allowed. Since He was God and man, He had a specific purpose. He could not be all things to all people at that moment because He had to be “that thing” which allowed all of mankind to be saved. He did live as a flesh example along the way, but was more about the Father’s business than that of being the ministry to the world. The church’s job was to be the ministry of the world after His departure. Jesus continued His progression of ministry even despite the threats and risks He faced that grew daily. He even laid down His life for the Father’s will. He was patient while waiting upon the Father, but also brisk in carrying it out once His time had come. He even rushed Judas to betray Him (John 13:7) by saying, “do it quickly.”
Jesus always seemed to be alert and wise regarding God’s ways. In my job (corrections) there are people who are trained to perform “verbal Judo” as they call it. This is training designed to teach officers how to handle offenders in such a way as to gain respect and authority over that person engaged, thus the name. Most of us through trial in error working in prisons, learned this skill by default. I can’t help but notice how Jesus really performed some major “verbal Judo” on His adversaries like the Pharisees and rulers of His day. He also handled physical and spiritual matters in such a fashion as well, always acting in a clever and wise manner. The enemy can also be very sneaky, but if we follow the Spirit conviction of God who is all-knowing, He will warn us of impending danger. This is why we “must be ready in season and out.”
 Grand Canyon University, “Celebration, Comfort, Counsel, and Correction: Ethical Ecclesial Ministry” (lecture 4, Ministerial Ethics, Grand Canyon University, 2016). https://lc.gcu.edu/learningPlatform/user/users.html