John 13:15 – For I have given you an example, that ye should do as I have done to you.
We have many influences in life, but often times there is one particular person who impacted our lives most. My father followed my grandfather everywhere he went on the family farm and anywhere else when possible. As a result, my grandpa influenced my father’s opinions, ethics, work style, speech, and other behaviors. When I think back to when my mother chided my dad when he acted like his father, how could he help it? Grandpa was his role model.
Who is your role model? Who do you imitate or idolize? Whoever it is I imagine that you try to act like him or her. You probably dress like them and talk like them. You probably eat the same food or drive the same kind of car as them. You may even aspire to have the same kind of career as them. You want others to see your role model in you.
In a special way, Jesus Christ looked to God the Father as His role model, and this is what drew some to Him and repulsed others. Jesus was a perfect reflection of the character and person of God, and those with a wrong impression of God rejected the Savior while others were relieved to find the Son of God to be like the God of the psalms and not simply the God of the law. Jesus reflected the righteousness and grace of God in one person, and He did this through service.
Service is perhaps the defining characteristic of Jesus’ earthly ministry. He came to serve and not to be served. Jesus is our great example, our collective role model, and the Lord demonstrated the oft forgotten tenderness and goodness of God along side His power. In John 13, on the eve of His crucifixion, the Savior humbled himself further in washing the disciples feet showing just how personal His love is for His disciples. When was the last time you humbled yourself so?
Jesus was glorified by glorifying God the Father. Jesus’ greatness was a byproduct of His love and devotion to His Father. When we serve Him and others for Him, we reflect that same Spirit that raised Jesus from the dead and glodified Him. May you find in Jesus the inspiration you need. I think you will find that all others will pale in comparison. He is the bright and morning star.