Thursday, December 09, 2004

I Want to be like Jesus

And the Child grew and became strong in spirit,
filled with wisdom; and the grace of God was upon Him.
Luke 2:40(NKJV)

Do you ever find when reading a familiar passage, that a verse you casually read past before, takes on so much meaning suddenly? Like a pocketful of change, you didn't think much of it when you first had it in your hand, yet when you find it unexpectedly later on in a pair of pants or a coat you haven't worn in a while, it just gets you so excited?

This particular verse is deep in between significant stories of Christ in Luke 2. The Birth of Christ, the presentation of Jesus, Jesus at the temple, and almost like an afterthought, as if of no real significance but to warrant a quick mention of the child we see this verse.

As I was reading through Luke 2, I was suddenly struck by this verse and it has quickly become a favorite. I've even included it as part of my Christmas greetings this year.

In our efforts to be more like Christ, this verse just sums it up so simply. As we grow in Christ, this is the benchmark we should use. Looking at the life of Jesus as a whole, it seems sometimes a bit overwhelming to emulate Him. He was so good. He did so much good. He endured so much. How could I ever be like Him?

But if I strive, first of all, to acquire the characteristics of Jesus the child, won't that give me the foundation to be successful in becoming a person capable of good works and a fruitful life that God wants of me?

And here, in this verse, I believe he's giving us a clue, or the key if you will, to develop a foundation in our lives that will help us be successful in our christian walks.

I pray God blesses all of our lives with strength, wisdom and grace in the new year.

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