Jesus Impersonators

Pastor Daron CrossLife Blog

You learned to talk by imitating your parents. You learned to play with your friends by watching those friends a bit older than you. You developed your world view by absorbing some of the culture of your high school and college cliques. 

This helps us understand the invitation of the apostle Paul. “Join together in following my example, brothers and sisters, and just as you have us as a model, keep your eyes on those who live as we do” (Philippians 3:17). 

What Paul is telling us is simply this: “You’re going to imitate others. You’re going to impersonate someone’s behavior in their relationships, someone else’s approach to parenting, and someone else’s spiritual practices. So when it comes to learning this Christian life, go ahead and imitate me. Follow me as I follow Jesus.” 

That’s why Paul tells us that whenever we see people believing and living the gospel of Jesus Christ, we should keep our eyes locked on that person. Why? So that like a child mirroring every move of mom or dad, we might learn how to live from that example.

I am so happy these days watching the 3, 4 and 5-year-old students at CrossLife Christian Academy. Sometimes I see them as a class walking into a room to meet me for chapel, or walking outside. Amazingly, they’re all in a single file line, they’re quiet and their hands aren’t poking or touching each other. So well behaved!

Why? Because one of the students in their class is the assigned leader for the week who takes his or her place in the front of the line. Then, they all follow the leader. 

But here’s the secret. That leader leads the right way because that boy or girl is following the teacher who always knows the right way! So any student in line is imitating the teacher. 

Jesus knows the right way for you even when life is confusing. Jesus knows the way to heaven and leads you there even when you haven’t acted like an angel. God—not just the apostle Paul, but God—promises that anyone who believes that will be “conformed to the image of his Son” (Romans 8:29). 

That is, we will slowly but surely start acting like Jesus, loving like Jesus and impersonating him so that when others follow us, they also follow him.

PRAYER: Dear Jesus, I want to be less like me and more like you. Shape me, my beliefs and my behaviors to mirror yours. If others follow me, Lord, I pray that I lead them to follow you. Amen.

FURTHER MEDITATION: Who are you imitating in this world? What Christian is a model and mentor for you? And who is imitating you? No, you don’t have to be perfect and don’t have to be duplicate of Jesus for others to follow you—just be sure you are following Jesus yourself. If there are gaps in either of these areas, pray for God to provide and fill that void.