Saturday, February 16, 2013

Ten Biblical Qualities of Christ

1. Jesus was a teacher - John 3:5-8 5 Jesus answered, "Truly, truly, I say to you, unless one is born of water and the Spirit, he cannot enter the kingdom of God. 6 That which is born of the flesh is flesh, and that which is born of the Spirit is spirit.[a] 7 Do not marvel that I said to you, 'You[b] must be born again.' 8 The wind[c] blows where it wishes, and you hear its sound, but you do not know where it comes from or where it goes. So it is with everyone who is born of the Spirit."

Jesus didn't come solely to die for our sins, he also came to teach us how to live a righteous life. He also came to begin the establishment of his church in the world. Jesus was the greatest teacher the world ever knew. His words were perfect, and by his way many were saved. How can we learn to be good teachers of the word? We should examine the things Jesus taught. Through Jesus we were born into our spiritual lives and began those journeys. If we want to be great teachers, we ought to look to scripture for the example we need.

2. Jesus was positive and hopeful - John 4:13-1413 Jesus said to her, "Everyone who drinks of this water will be thirsty again, but whoever drinks of the water that I will give him will never be thirsty again. The water that I will give him will become in him a spring of water welling up to eternal life."

I was raised Catholic, and often taught that Jesus lived a sad life, always pained with his burden and was a judgmental man. Nothing could be further from the truth. Jesus was joyous and full of hope and love for humanity. He expounded a message of hope and redemption for humanity. He came to save all of us from judgement and damnation! Over and over we learn that Jesus loved and cared for humanity. When he first met his disciples he greeted them happily and they followed him. Remember that a cornerstone of the Christian life is being positive in dark times. By showing the peace we have in ourselves, we offer it to others.

3. Jesus lived in the now - Matthew 6:34 "So don't worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will bring its own worries. Today's trouble is enough for today."

What would it have been like if Jesus had constantly been worrying about the troubles of tomorrow? He wouldn't have gotten anything done! He walked about speaking to the masses and preaching to his disciples. He told them things like this passage from Matthew. The language of it is the most unmistakable. Today's trouble is enough! Tomorrow does have worries, but we are to address them when tomorrow comes. How do we go about living in the now? Simple catch phrases like "one day at a time" can be a good thing to say to ourselves to remind us of this.

4. Jesus loved humanity - Matthew 22:36-40 "Teacher, which is the most important commandment in the law of Moses?" Jesus replied, "'You must love the Lord your God with all your heart, all your soul, and all your mind.' This is the first and greatest commandment. A second is equally important: 'Love your neighbor as yourself.' The entire law and all the demands of the prophets are based on these two commandments."

Jesus loved us. Yes, isn't that an amazing thing? Jesus truly loved and cared for us. He gave us the command to love one another as he loved us. We are to also love God will all we have. Jesus loved humanity! He wanted us all to cast off our old ways and become free in him. Amazingly some people are confused to hear the simple truth that Jesus loved us! He smiled upon us and smiled gladly. We are God's creation and he loves us. So as Christians as should also love humanity. It's easy to become jaded in these dark times, but we must remember that we can still love the whole of humanity. It's by love that our hearts are opened. We can do this by changing our own perceptions of people. We ought to look for the good in what they do, and not the negative. Seek out positivity and our love for humanity and God increases!

5. Jesus did not adhere to the precepts of this world - John 18:36 "My Kingdom is not an earthly kingdom. If it were, my followers would fight to keep me from being handed over to the Jewish leaders. But my Kingdom is not of this world."

I love the example Jesus gives in this passage. If his kingdom was of the earthly world he would have his followers fight for him. That was not his purpose and his kingdom was elsewhere. He came to teach us and relieve us of all of own sins. I turned on Fox News Radio one evening and they were talking about how Jesus was pro-war. Do not be deceived by twisters of the word and false prophets. Jesus was not of this world, and neither are we. We ought to live in accordance with that. Jesus did not become involved in earthly matters, he simply taught and converted. It's vital to cultivate a mindset of this life being temporary, for everything in it will slip away. We are not here for very long, as we will be eternally with Christ in the next life.

6. Jesus spent his time with those in need - Mark 2:17 On hearing this, Jesus said to them, "It is not the healthy who need a doctor, but the sick. I have not come to call the righteous, but sinners."

You know I can't tell you how many times I get dirty looks from old timers in public. I don't even dress that radical, but suppose you pass a drug addict or someone who just lost a family member. They don't look well, they're upset and you give them a dirty look. Jesus spent his time with these kinds of people. He reached out to them without judgement and offered them help. Is it so impossible for us to do the same? Narrow are the gates my friends.

7. Jesus was a servant of humanity - Mark 10.42-45 "You know that those who are considered rulers of the Gentiles lord it over them, and their great ones exercise authority over them. But it shall not be so among you. But whoever would be great among you must be your servant, and whoever would be first among you must be slave of all. For even the Son of Man came not to be served but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many."
Jesus told us that we are servants. He was a servant to humanity, paying the ultimate price for our sins. The pharisees were very pompous when using their power. They used it to their own advantage. We had something similar in the United States at it's founding, in an attempt to show the modesty of the positions of leadership. Unfortunately that's been turned on it's head. But as leaders in the church we should show our modesty. We show this by living as Jesus did.

8. Jesus advocated inward analysis -
Matthew 7.1-5 "Judge not, that you be not judged. For with the judgment you pronounce you will be judged, and with the measure you use it will be measured to you. Why do you see the speck that is in your brother's eye, but do not notice the log that is in your own eye? Or how can you say to your brother, 'Let me take the speck out of your eye,' when there is the log in your own eye? You hypocrite, first take the log out of your own eye, and then you will see clearly to take the speck out of your brother's eye"

Jesus had a lot of great messages in this passage. He told us for one not to judge others. We are told that if we judge others, Jesus will judge us. If we live too outwardly constantly looking for the faults of others, we miss the faults that are within ourselves. Inward analysis and introspection are great ways to detect faults within us. And don't we all have many faults? If so then why should we spend our days seeking out the faults in others? This is hypocrisy. Often others will notice faults in us before we do ourselves. It's very easy for the human mind to ignore what it doesn't want to see. And we are often prideful and this makes us not want to face the things about ourselves that are not right. We ought to remember that everyone has problems, some just hide them well. As Christians we do not hide them, we seek them out and root them out!

9. Jesus was a man of peace - Matthew 5.43-45 "You have heard that it was said, 'You shall love your neighbor and hate your enemy.' But I say to you, Love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you"

Jesus was not a man of war, he was a man of peace! We ought not to let anyone tell us different. This is a common teaching by Jesus that we often look at and say "This is too hard." We don't think we can do it! President Obama even said that our foreign policy couldn't survive the sermon on the mount! I tell you friends that this is not true. And the Bible is not a document that we may say "this part is right and this part I will ignore." No! Every word is the word of God. There are no mistakes, and there are no faults.

10. Jesus exposed evil - Matt 23:31-33 "Therefore you are witnesses against yourselves that you are sons of those who murdered the prophets. Fill up, then, the measure of your fathers' guilt. Serpents, brood of vipers! How can you escape the condemnation of hell?"

Jesus was particularly hard on the Pharisees, as they were the religious leaders of the time. We know from scripture that leaders will be judged more harshly. How often do we see evil in the world and feel helpless? For me it's an everyday thing. But there are some things I can do to expose evil. I can tell my friends and family. I can use the internet via social media if that's what I feel called to do. I can tell my Pastor at church that I'm concerned with something. There are many ways to speak out against evil. I often write letters to the editor to my local newspapers. Jesus called out vocally in the synagogues the evils of the pharisees. Unfortunately there are few such places in modern times where we may speak freely, but we may speak freely on the internet for one. And to our friends and family.