Isn’t it sweet to watch a little child do his or her best to imitate someone they admire? A little boy may smear shaving cream all over his face with pretenses of shaving. He wants to be like his Dad. A little girl is excited to get hold of her mother’s lipstick. She wants to be like Mom. Pupils may be inspired by a certain teacher. They want to study harder, to be like the one from whom they have learned so much. All though life we meet people, get to know them, and perhaps, if there is something in their lives that we admire, we find ourselves wishing that we could be like that person.
Imitation is said to be the greatest compliment. To try and emulate someone we hold in high regard and appreciate is a normal human characteristic. Jesus had something to say about imitation in Matthew 10:25. He was speaking with His disciples when He said, “It is enough for a disciple that he be like his teacher.” In this instance, Jesus was speaking about Himself and of those who learn from Him. To anyone who knows Jesus and seeks to be like Him, that person is a disciple of Jesus. To become more and more like Jesus will bring joy and peace to our lives. To become like Jesus will cause us to want to be a better person tomorrow than what we are today. There is no higher goal than to be like Jesus.
When we first come to know Jesus, we’re a mere babe in Christ. We try to imitate Him. We want to grow into a mature Christian. We want to talk like Jesus, to make godly decisions, to behave like Jesus. There will be days of good imitation, and there will be days when Jesus is unrecognizable in our lives. We all make mistakes. Sometimes we are even deliberate in turning away from our teacher, Jesus. We decide that we know best. How blessed we are to have His promise of forgiveness when we sincerely ask Him and determine to strive not to repeat the offense.
There are two things to be said about Jesus and His students: those who forget His teaching are those who grow in personal misery; those who focus on His teaching are those who grow in personal joy. There is no in-between. Those who remain faithful and diligent followers of the teachings of Jesus are those who maintain the peace of Jesus in the midst of turmoil. Those who follow His teachings are those who are given the wisdom of God, a holy discernment in matters of this world, and blessings from our heavenly Father that are far beyond anything this world measures as valuable.
The things of this world will pass away. Things of God live on for eternity. Let’s keep Jesus as our number one teacher. Peace in the midst of hurt, holy direction in the midst of worry, and joy of heart in the middle of all life’s turmoil, will belong to every student who seeks to imitate the greatest teacher; Jesus, who said to His students in Matthew 11:29,
“Take My yoke upon you and learn of Me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls.” What a promise from our teacher!