5 Times Jesus Showed Us the Way

Kyle Blevins

Thursday, July 12, 2018

Jesus is still alive in us today because He was just so different. His actions caught the attention of man at the beginning of time and will continue to through the end of time. Crowds would gather and follow Jesus during his life-giving teachings that were in stark contrast to the worldly standards running rampant in those times. His light captivated people; it gave them life. That still applies today.

In John 14:12, Jesus empowered us by saying, “Anyone who believes in me will do the same works I have done, and even greater works, because I am going to be with the Father.” When we are empowered to do something, it means we are given a charge and we are also equipped. Jesus clearly gave us the charge here, but where did He equip us for the mission? Let’s explore some scriptures where Jesus showed us His greater ways are not out of reach for us.

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1. He promoted serving as being greater than being served.

Jesus embodied God’s vision of having and sharing a servant heart. In Matthew 20:26-28, Jesus taught a radical way of viewing hierarchy. He said in verse 26, “Whoever wants to be a leader among you must be your servant.” In verse 28, he embodies this, himself, by saying, “For even the Son of Man came not to be served, but to serve others and to give his life as a ransom for many.” Part of Jesus’ effectiveness as a leader comes from the actions that supplemented His words. In John 13:13-15, Jesus teaches us that we are not greater than others because even the greatest came down to serve. It says, “You call me ‘Teacher’ and ‘Lord,’ and you are right, because that is what I am. And since I, your Lord and Teacher, have washed your feet, you ought to wash each other’s feet. I have given you an example to follow. Do as I have done to you.”  

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2. He used His authority for others.

 In Matthew 23:13, Jesus exclaims, “What sorrow awaits you teachers of religious law and you Pharisees. Hypocrites!” This goes on and on in great detail and clarity. Jesus typically taught in parables, but in this case, He was very blunt. Is it possible to be blunt but also gentle? Jesus showed us it is possible when we are connected with the proper cause. Remembering our mission   to sow faith, hope, and love in the world, Jesus’ cause here was for justice and representation for the poor and misguided.

Jesus’ boldness here is of love with others in mind. Proverbs 31:8-9 says, “Speak up for those who cannot speak for themselves; ensure justice for those being crushed. Yes, speak up for the poor and helpless, and see that they get justice.” Our world is full of people getting ahead, sometimes at all costs. Competition is fierce in workplaces, schools, even when it comes to getting care or grants. If you are in a place of authority or a position where you can give, look for your neighbors in need. Try to connect with the benefit of being part of seeing another person develop and imagine the investment you would be making in another person’s life by using any advantage you may have to lift another up.

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3. He offered acceptance.

There are several ways we can accept people and Jesus was not selective in how He used acceptance. Many times in Jesus’ life, He was known to accept children who approached Him. His intention of this was to teach the crowds to be as open to the kingdom of God as the children were to Jesus, however; we can also view this as an example of accepting those who are seeking the way they should go. No one represents learning, curiosity, and life like children do. Seeking is part of faithfulness and hopefulness, and if we reject people in their seeking, we can disrupt their path to the door they need opened. Jesus taught us in Matthew 7:7 to “keep on seeking, and you will find. Keep on knocking, and the door will be opened to you.” If we try and force someone to change the moment we understand what a resolution might be, we cut off the revelation they may need for a truly fruitful change. Rather than being forceful to change someone, accept them and continue praying for them, leading them to keep seeking God. It may bring peace to a situation, clarity for someone’s life.

Another example of acceptance is demonstrated through the story of the remorseful thief crucified with Jesus. One thief tested Jesus, stating he should save himself if Jesus was truly who he said he is. The other thief, however, shared remorse and repentance, as read in Luke 23:40-43. Jesus accepted, acted on his apology and encouraged him, in that moment, saying that he would have a place with Jesus in paradise. How often do we find ourselves in arguments, with loved ones, even, and find it hard to accept their apology? In those times, where someone is offering an apology, remember the new place of authority and power that it puts you in and use it for good as Jesus did.

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4. He protected people with grace.

John 8 begins with the Pharisees bringing a woman caught in adultery to Jesus. They wanted to know what punishment He saw fit for her sin and they tried to corner Him into something they could use against Him. In verse 7, Jesus responded: “Let the one who has never sinned throw the first stone!” The accusers started slipping away until no one was left but Jesus and the woman. In verse 10, He tells her “Neither do I (accuse you). Go and sin no more.”

After this encounter, Jesus turns to the crowd to teach “I am the light of the world. If you follow me, you won’t have to walk in darkness, because you will have the light that leads to life.” The beautiful thing about offering someone grace is it allows them to reflect on their own heart rather than defending an accusation. The result of this is freedom from bondage and a truly repentant heart.

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5. He embodied forgiveness.

Jesus quite literally embodied forgiveness for us with His act at Calvary. Do you ever feel like you just can’t match that? If so, that is a good thing! We could never match this and because of that, He has made a way for us to be effective with people. Without this act of forgiveness, we would have no vine to draw from. While we likely know to be thankful for it, I understand how it can leave us feeling like there is nothing else to do. How can we carry on Jesus’ way of forgiveness? The key to this is found in Luke 23:34. Here, Jesus calls out to the Father saying, “Father, forgive them, for they don’t know what they are doing.” The foundation of Jesus’ ability to forgive was based on compassion. He was able to find in his heart how to be compassionate toward people. This requires a connection to the Father, as Jesus did nothing outside of the Father. We can do this, too. Imagine the broken places in your life. They are likely tied to relationships. Think of how you can find compassion for those that come to mind and pray for God to meet you there.

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Serving as Jesus

Jesus has shown us the way to make a difference in the world. In each instance above, people were healed in some way. Kindness is replenished through those serving others, peace is found by those that are protected, hope is restored through those that offer acceptance, faith is brought to works through grace, and love is founded on forgiveness. It is no accident that all that Jesus showed us line up with the fruits of the spirit (Galatians 5:22-23, 1 Corinthians 13:3-4).

If we look at 1 Corinthians 13:3 as our mission, we can find our own unique way of serving our brothers and sisters of the world. Faith, hope, and love are the sole constants in the world that give life to people and should be our goal in how to serve the world. This changes our question from “Is there something for me to do?” to “How am I able to show faith, hope, and/or love to someone?” Jesus made our giving possible because He became our vine. If we remain in Him, we can bear fruit from Him to give to others with a servant heart. Because we have been served, we can now serve as Jesus did.

Kyle Blevins is a family man who resides just outside of Chattanooga, TN with his wife and two sons. He is in leadership for a top Fortune 500 company and is known for his empowering encouragement and bright personality. His passion is in restoring hope for people and connecting them to Jesus through writing. 

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