You Be Jesus!

two little boys

TheDiscipleMd

A mother was preparing pancakes for her sons, Kevin 5, and Ryan 3. The boys began to argue over who would get the first pancake. Their mother saw the opportunity for a moral lesson. “If Jesus were sitting here, He would say, ‘Let my brother have the first pancake, I can wait.’” The five-year old attentively listened to his mother, then turned to his younger brother and said, “Ryan, you be Jesus!”

Well, the above story is not only humorous but also quite accurate when it comes to how we view things, even as adults. I think all of us who call ourselves “followers of Christ” know that He admonished us to “Be ye therefore perfect, even as your Father which is in Heaven is perfect.” (Matthew 5:48) And most of us should be familiar with the words of Christ recorded in the ‘Sermon on the Mount’ when he said, “Not every one that saith unto me, Lord, Lord, shall enter into the kingdom of heaven; but he that doeth the will of my Father…” (Matthew 7:21) Yet, sometimes we find ourselves in the role of that three-year old’s older brother. We want others to be Christ-like in their treatment of us, but we sometimes fall short when it’s our turn to be “Jesus.”

The battle between the “natural” man and the “spiritual” man is common to us all. It’s been going on since the beginning of time. I’m reminded of the children’s song, “I’m Trying to Be Like Jesus” which says, “I’m trying to be like Jesus, I’m following in his ways. I’m trying to love as he did, in all that I do and say.” This, of course, is not always easy. The hardest role in the “play of life” is the role of Jesus Christ. It requires tremendous dedication, effort and sacrifice. It requires both time and patience with ourselves, and also with the Lord. “Trying to be like Jesus” is a lifetime endeavor. Yet, we have been promised that if we do all that we can, He will make up the difference.

We will never reach our goal of becoming like Jesus on our own. But, through his atonement and sacrifice, we can be made perfect, therefore, becoming eligible for salvation and exaltation. We can become like our Father. But we must have a willing heart and a desire to play the role of Jesus throughout our lives. “You be Jesus!” is a humorous statement for a five-year old to exclaim. But for those of us further down the road, “You Be Jesus!” is an indication that our “natural” man is leading our “spiritual” man to an early death. If we find ourselves in such a state, may we have the courage to reverse things and take on the role of Jesus in our lives!

 

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