How can we be followers of Jesus if our lives look nothing like His?
This is a convicting question. I watched BASIC: Follow Jesus, which is the second of a new seven-part film series hosted by Francis Chan.
I think the answer to what Jesus calls us to live like is simply stated in the Bible. Love your neighbor as yourself. Love your enemies. Feed the hungry. Clothe the naked. Shelter the homeless. Comfort those in distress. Go and make disciples and teach them to obey everything He commands us.
Jesus told his disciples: “Follow me.” Then he showed them how to follow God. We need to follow Jesus’ example. Paul says it like this in 1 Corinthians 11:1 (ESV): “Be imitators of me, as I am of Christ.” We are to live the life that why we are called to. We are to live like Christ. We are to obey the things He calls us to do.
Francis gives this great illustration in his video. He explains that he would not tell his daughter to go clean her room and be satisfied if she came back and said, “I memorized what you told me to do.” In the same way, we are not supposed to just learn the Word, but we are supposed to live the Word.
It has to go deeper than us just reading what Jesus calls us to do, but instead, we should act upon what we are called to. I am not saying that reading the Word isn’t important and I am not saying memorizing scripture isn’t important. I am saying that it is not enough if that is all we do. We must actually do the will of Jesus’ Father who is in Heaven.
There are times when we think it is hard to follow Jesus. Even Jesus explained to his disciples that it was going to be hard to follow Him, truly follow Him. Too often we highlight all the good things we receive Him, but we are not doing anyone any favors that way. Let’s be real: the road is narrow.
Yet what Jesus offers is greater than anything else. Francis Chan said something along the lines of, “All the things that Jesus says to let go of are the things that are going to destroy us anyway.”
I believe that holiness looks like this. Holiness is imitating Jesus as He imitates Christ. Jesus came to save us, but also to show us how to live.