25 Nov Are you like JESUS
“Are you Jesus?” asked a young lady who entered my room one afternoon with a visibly grief stricken face. The incident goes as follows:
Post lunch, one afternoon, I was leaving my chamber. I noticed a young lady sitting and sobbing. She was leaning onto a small boy. I was curious to know the reason and desired to help her out whatever be her predicament. So, I returned to my room and asked the sepoy to send her in. I wanted to know the reason but she said that she was directed to my room by somebody to meet Jesus who could sort out her problem. She believed that I was Jesus. I told her that I am Julius and not Jesus. I asked her if there was something I could help her out with. She replied saying that she had come to Bangalore all the way from Kerala to clear the luggage that belonged to her husband. He was working at Dubai and passed away a few months ago. When she had approached the Inspector on duty, she was asked to pay Rs.50,000/- as duty charges to clear the baggage. She had no money at hand and she was still mourning the loss of her husband. That gave me a clear perception of the situation she faced. It was clear as to why the Inspector was asking her to pay the money. It is an established fact that when a deceased person’s luggage comes to India, there is no need to collect any customs duty to clear them. Hence, I called the Inspector and asked him whether there was any problem in clearing her baggage. He replied, “Nothing Sir”. Then I asked him to clear the baggage immediately, load it onto a truck and report to me. Understanding the situation, the Inspector wanted to talk to me. I told him that I would talk to him later. He came back in 30 minutes reporting that the baggage was cleared and loaded onto a truck.
What did not happen since 10:00 am in the morning till 2:30 pm in the afternoon was done in 30 minutes. It was unbelievably preposterous to see how we sometimes dare to harass a helpless person like this and push them to the wall. When the Inspector was still in my chamber, the lady fell prostrate on the ground towards me and said, “Thank you Sir, Jesus” She still believed my name to be “Jesus”. However, within me, I experienced a satisfaction that I had done the job of Jesus by standing there in His place. We are all kept in a place, as God’s representatives to reflect His character. How can I then be other than an honest, hard working individual and a man of integrity in my job?
Oftentimes, there is a huge disparity between what we say and what we actually do. The Bible connects “believing” to “behaviour.” The two appear to be inseparable. When we try to divorce these two terms (as they relate to Christianity), what we end up with is a mixture of truth and error. There is no doubt a great importance being placed on what we say as validated by the Scriptures which says: “Death and life are in the power of the tongue. . . ” (Proverbs 18:21). One thing becomes patently obvious to the reader- it is not merely what we say, but what we do that is critical and impacts, either positively or negatively. When viewing a person’s life, there should be a visible change – that’s where it counts. It is more important to “Walk the Talk.” Jesus quoted a prophecy from Isaiah 29:13 during his earthly ministry which stated that, “This people honour me with their lips, but their hearts are far from me.” We live in a very religious world but true religion is defined by our walk; not necessarily defined by our talk. Leaders are falling all around us not because of their talk but rather because of their walk.
At first sight, we would think that no one is watching us. We tend to think that people are too busy. Believe it or not, people do watch and are impacted by the way you choose your walk. You might think that it is not so, that people around you don’t care, that they are disinterested in you and are preoccupied with their own lives and hence do not take notice. Take our teenagers for example – they put on their headphones and turn up the IPod music and block themselves from the rest of the world. But do not be fooled – the teens are not as oblivious as they appear. They most certainly are watching – out of the corner of their eye perhaps, but they are watching and learning more from your example than you might care to suspect.
Walk the Talk – your life speaks more about Jesus than words. I worked in the Customs Department for 37 years and have been involved with UESI for more than 50 years. God helped me to practice what I preached in every sphere of my life (ministry, family, work etc.,). Practicing what we preach is not an easy task. It takes character which has to be developed by having a personal relationship with God by analyzing every word we speak, every thought in our hearts and of course, the intention behind our every action. Jesus Christ had only a few disciples during his earthly ministry. To be specific in EU terms, to be recorded in the reports, He trained/mentored only 12 people. They listened to every sermon or every word He preached; they witnessed every miracle including the controlling the power of nature and raising up the dead. They promised to be with Him and even die for Him but at the time of the Lord’s crucifixion, they just fled and denied Jesus. But the same disciples turned around 180° after the resurrection of Jesus, and Christianity burst out and penetrated into every corner of the world. It was most definitely the Holy Spirit of God that transformed them and helped them to stand for God, even to die as martyrs.
There is another interesting point to note. The disciples did not understand or may even have forgotten most of the sermons He preached but they did not forget His compassion, His love and the way He lived which was in line with what He preached. This was the impact of walking the talk. People may forget what you preach but they will never forget your actions. With all the advancements in the technology, with huge openings to reach out to the people, still a reasonable growth or a breakthrough in ministry is not seen, as we preach something, believe something and practice something else. Our actions are highly contradictory to what we believe and practice. Practicing what we preach is not an inborn nature; it is a character which has to be developed through hard work with a commitment to have regular walks with the Lord and by maintaining healthy relationships with people.
If you feel like you are not measuring up, do not be discouraged. We are en route to transformation. God is renewing us through Christ. Be honest and change what you can and do not just say the right things – it must be more than that.
- Do not just say you will change. . . walk the talk.
- No more do as I say, but as I do – walk the talk.
- No more excuses about being wrapped up in flesh – walk the talk.
- No more sneaking and drinking – walk the talk.
- No more hiding under cover of darkness – walk the talk.
If we are Christians, when people see us, Jesus ought to shine through us– in our homes, our offices, and our community and in every aspect of our lives. “And we, who … reflect the Lord’s glory, are being transformed into His likeness…” (2 Corinthians 3:18)
1. We Are To Look Like Jesus:
“Be imitators of God, therefore, as dearly loved children and live a life of love, just as Christ loved us and gave Himself up for us…” (Ephesians 5:1-2) But what does it mean to look like Jesus? It means to be like Him, to imitate the character, the nature and attitudes of Jesus. Do we look like Jesus? Do our lives, our hearts, our nature reflect His glory? Are we imitating Him? We must make Jesus known by looking like Him.
Relationship is an important part of our life in the society. Jesus grew in favour with men as well as with God (Luke 2:52). As a social being, Jesus related well with those around Him and so should we. The Bible teaches us as to how we should treat others. For example, the last 6 of the Ten Commandments teaches us to honour our parents, not to take our neighbour’s life-wife-materials-goods-reputations-not to even think about possessing what belongs to our neighbours.
2. We are to Sound like Jesus
“All the people were amazed and said to each other, ‘What is this teaching? With authority and power He gives orders to evil spirits and they come out!’ And the news about Him spread through the surrounding area.” (Luke 4:36-37) “Jesus was the talk of the town.”
If people are ever going to hear the love story of Jesus, they must hear it from us. People around us may not read Bible; but can read our life to get the reflection of Christ.
3. We are to Act like Jesus
“After He had finished washing their feet, He took His robe, put it back on, and went back to His place at the table. Then He said, ‘Do you understand what I have done to you?
“You address me as ‘Teacher’ and ‘Master,’ and rightly so. That is what I am. So if I, the Master and Teacher, washed your feet, you must now wash each other’s feet. I’ve laid down a pattern for you. What I’ve done, you do.”
If we observe our life and our character, most of our habits are reflecting the nature of the other person with whom we are spending our time. Following Jesus means – walking along with Him every day, listening to His voice and obeying to His voice. We should take every effort to have a quality time with God. God speaks every moment; the question is whether we are ready to recognize, listen and do His will by obeying. If we are approaching Him with our predefined will, we will not be able to recognize His will. Failing in recognizing His will in our life leads to missing the purpose of our life and we cannot be a man/ woman of His choice.
4. We are to Smell like Jesus
As we give ourselves to God daily as a living sacrifices, we carry the fragrance of God (Rom 12:1) People we deal with should smell something different – the wonderful “aroma” of Christ, whether in the family or at our work place or in the church or in any market place.
Some people will be attracted and experience salvation; whereas some will recoil both from it and from us. Jesus Himself both attracted and repelled. (II Corinth 2:14-16)
Following Jesus Christ and His commands is not easy as the devil is constantly trying to destroy our testimony. To be a worldly person, we do not need any effort but to be the one who is of His choice, we need to work out our salvation with fear and trembling. We must take every effort to work out the relationship with God and with other people. If our body needs exercise and a nutritious diet to be healthy, how much more will we need spiritual discipline and food for our soul? In history and even in the bible, people did not like the one who obeyed the will of God (Elijah, John the Baptist); even Jesus Christ was disliked by the religious leaders.
If we do not lead our children to Christ whether we are graduates or staff and connect them to EU, how do we get involved in UESI ministry to invite other students to attend the EU programmes? We are not walking the talk. We only talk the talk. We read in Matthew 7 that “not everyone who says Lord, Lord will enter the kingdom, but the one who does the will of the Father.” The spiritual application of our text is easy to understand. Jesus said of the Pharisees and Scribes, “These people draw near to me with their mouth and honour me with their lips; but their heart is far from me.”
In essence, what Jesus was saying is that the Pharisees and Scribes do nothing more than – talk, talk and talk. And remember the son (in the parable in Matthew 21:30) who said he would go into his father’s vineyard to work and did not go? The apostle Peter in St. Matthew 26:3-35 said that he would never be offended because of Jesus and that he would never deny Him – talk, talk, talk. Do we walk the talk or only talk the talk?
JSA Julius is retired from Customs Department and he served as President of UESI for 8 years. He lives in Bengaluru with his wife Renuka and he has been actively involving in UESI since his student days.