Wednesday, September 12, 2012
Yeshua Practiced What He Preached
Whatever Yeshua preached that we should do, He did Himself. I have a few examples to share, but I'm sure there are more. I've been thinking about this again and again, and it fascinated me to know that Yeshua did for us everything He told us to do for Him!
Let's start with the picture above. It's a bit...interesting. We might actually get a chuckle out of it. But if you think about it, Christ did exactly what this picture shows. He traded His eternal Throne of Glory for the life of a homeless man. Likely His clothing was tattered. He probably slept where He could. When you internalize this truth, it really AWES you. The eternal Son of God Almighty humbled Himself to become a man. He willingly emptied Himself of His Glory to be born into our world. He even describes Himself as humble (Matthew 11:29). Imagine that for a moment.
A Being that can speak anything into existence, Who owns EVERYTHING...is humble. He doesn't think twice about being generous. It is His very nature to Love. This is one of the qualities of God that brings a person to their knees. An Almighty Being such as He cares *that much* to step into His own creation? How many times have you heard someone wonder why an Almighty Being would even care about the "ants" on that blue speck in an unremarkable arm of the Milky Way, one of a bajillion galaxies?
But He does. An eternal God of Love would love everything He's created, AND love it with an infinite Love. Especially creatures made in His own image. It wouldn't matter if we were all giants and lived on a planet the size of Jupiter -- we'd still be tiny to Him. And yet He cares. SO much. Because He's humble. And He's giving.
Point Number One: Yeshua told us not to worry about tomorrow (Matthew 6:34). He never did. You never once saw Christ fretting about food, clothing, or money all throughout the Gospels. He was peaceful. He completely trusted His Heavenly Father to provide. In fact, He frequently told His disciples to have faith when they descended into worry.
Point Number Two: Yeshua told us to give everything we owned to the poor and come follow Him (Luke 18:22). Like the picture above -- if He expects us to live a life without comfort, He likewise lived a life without comfort to set an example. It's an extreme example, granted. But the ultimate point was to put no value in material gain. If you lose something material, it matters not. You have treasure in Heaven. Christ knew this. Therefore, He was willing to live a life without material possessions.
Point Number Three: In Luke 6:28, He tells us to bless those that curse us and pray for those who abuse us. In Luke 23:34, Yeshua prays for those who are about to crucify Him - "Father, forgive them, for they know not what they do." Does this mean God the Father turned away from what they were about to do? I don't know. But I do know that after the crucifixion, when the earthquake hit, the centurion and those soldiers with him cried out in Matthew 27:54 - "When the centurion and those who were with him, keeping watch over Jesus, saw the earthquake and what took place, they were filled with awe and said, “Truly this was the Son of God!” If we are to believe that grace is by faith alone, and if the very Son of God prayed for the Father Himself to forgive them, clearly we see the fruit of the Son's prayer moments after His death. We pray for those that abuse us and bless those that curse us because we never know how the Father will answer our prayers and bring them to faith.
Point Number Four: Yeshua tells us to turn the other cheek when someone strikes us in Luke 6:29. Yeshua is the Prince of Peace. Here, He's telling us to keep the peace. Do not stir up contentions with petty fights. We see Yeshua keeping His peace at His kangaroo court of a trial (Matthew 26:57-68). Even when they beat Him and tugged at His beard and mocked Him, He stayed silent and did not sin.
Point Number Five: Luke 6:31 tells us to "Do unto others as you would have them do unto you." This is actually quite profound. If God want us to give our lives to Him, He must give His life to us. If He wants us to give up everything to follow Him, He must give up everything to save us. He doesn't tell us to do anything without first doing it Himself. I don't know about you, but I find this truth amazing, even though I've read the New Testament a million times. If He asks for a commitment from us, He commits first. Always. And in the same manner.
Point Number Six: Yeshua says in John 15:13 that "Greater love has no one than this, that someone lay down his life for his friends." This is probably the most obvious of Christ "practicing what He preached" teachings, as He did, in fact, lay down His life for His friends -- US. Notice how He says this is the GREATEST of loves. Notice who is dying -- the Son of God. Therefore we know that God Loves us with the GREATEST of Loves. His Own. Because He IS Love.
Point Number Seven: Matthew 5:44 has a great and humbling truth hidden within it. This is the famous "Love your enemies" Scripture. Christ definitely practiced this one. And Paul even reinforced this idea in his epistles. We think this is because God is a loving God and we should love everyone -- Kumbaya and all that. But this is deeper when we scratch at it. EVERYONE was an enemy of God before Christ came. And He died for us WHILE WE WERE YET SINNERS (Romans 5:8). Yeshua told us to love our enemies because He first loved US, those of us who were at enmity with God (James 4:4).
Some people think what Yeshua asks us to do is beyond us. That we can't possibly do it. Perhaps they are right. We are sinners, after all. But everything Christ taught, He practiced. I'm sure there are scores of other examples I haven't shared. Like the Two Great Commandments, for one. Love God with all your heart, soul, mind, and strength, and love your neighbor as yourself. Yes, Yeshua honored them. Imagine -- treating us, His neighbors, as Himself. How does God Love within the Godhead? Perfectly. Amazingly. All-consumingly. And this is how He loves us. The Father loves us as He loves Christ. Christ loves us as He loves the Father. The deeper you dig, the farther you fall into the height, depth, length, and breadth of the Love of God. No one and nothing compares to Him.
What He has done for us cannot be put into mere words. There aren't enough ages to come to sing His praises. My heart isn't big enough to contain my awe. My spirit is overwhelmed at the beauty, the sheer and utter beauty of the King of Kings.
My Bridegroom, My Beloved, My Yeshua.
Lord... I love You. Because I know beyond the SHADOW of a doubt that You undeniably Love me. My only lament is that words are not adequate to describe what I feel for You... And if I cannot describe my own love for You, when I am but a human, how then can I even BEGIN to fathom Your unfathomable Love for me?
If my love is a drop of rain,
Your Love is the ocean.