LEARNING FROM THE ATTITUDES OF JESUS CHRIST
Study Questions & Objectives
· Who are we supposed to learn from in our Christian walk?
· Why is it necessary to learn from Christ?
· How are we supposed to learn from Christ?
· What are we supposed to learn from Christ?
· Apostle Paul exhorts us to be imitators of God (Jesus Christ) (Ephesians 5:1) and again exhorts the Corinthian believers to imitate him (1st Corinthians 11:1); (2nd Thess 3:9).
· Apostle Peter says that he who has called us is holy, so should we be (1st Peter 1:16).
· Our lives need to measure up to the gospel of Jesus Christ, whom we preach about (Philippians 1:27).
· Examples of the exhibition of these characters/attitudes in Jesus Christ Himself and some other biblical persons (Romans 15:4)
1. Selflessness & Self-Denial
Self-denial is required before we can begin to follow Christ (Luke 9:23). The Cross is the ultimate expression of his selflessness, while still hanging there in agony, he showed selflessness by giving thought to these people.
· His persecutors (Luke 23:34)
· His mother
· The thief (Luke 23:43)
Another person who showed such attitude is Ruth (Ruth 1:8-18). Jesus Christ considered the state of fallen man and the pending wrath of God, then He came to die, as such Paul exhorts all believers to esteem the interests & welfare of others above their own (Philippians 2:3-4).
· What would have been our response to our persecutors if we were on the cross?
· When we are at our dead end, do we still consider the welfare of others above ourselves?
2. Servant Service
· While on earth, Jesus Christ was both fully God and fully man
· He denied Himself the glory & privileges associated with God (John 1:4, 14; 17:5).
· The servant works as if there is no reward (Luke 17:7-10).
· The ultimate expression of this attitude was when he washed the feet of His disciples (John 13:1-17)
· Compare and contrast the servant-leadership of Christ with contemporary leadership
· How can Christians who are secular leaders truly exhibit this attitude?
· List any positive and negative contemporary examples of servant leaders.
3. Obedience to the Will of God
The height of his exhibition of this attitude was by subjecting himself to die on the cross. Father, not my will but Your Will be done”. Even the Son obeyed (Hebrews 5:7 – 9).
· To obey is better than to sacrifice. (1st Samuel 15:22 - 23).
· He knew the Will of His Father and actually performed it (John 4:34; 12:27).
· He overcame all the forms of temptation by Satan (Matthew 4:1-11).
· He was not carried away by the praises of man and did not allow Himself to be crowned as a King. He was not distracted by devilish & human schemes to deviate from the Will.
· Is there a limit to our obedience to earthly government & leadership?
· What if a government’s policy is against the Bible
4. Self-Control & Meekness
Meekness is an attitude that refers to “softness of temper; mildness; gentleness; forbearance under injuries and provocations. Jesus Christ advised his disciples to learn from Him because He is meek and lowly in heart (Matthew 11:29). He was led like a lamb to the slaughter house, silent before its shearers. Moses was also described by God as being the meekest person on the earth (Numbers 12:3).
· Compare & Contrast meekness with timidity.
· Why did God describe Moses as meek?
· Does being meek mean that Christians bow for just anything?
· How far can we go to defend our case?
5. Sacrifice & Sufferings
Our sacrificial lives must be sweet smelling aroma to God (Ephesians 5:2). Our bodies must be living and holy sacrifices (Romans 12:2). We are called upon to partake in his suffering and shame (Hebrews 13:13).
· The apostles and other disciples sacrificed their lives for the sake of the Gospel
· The example of the European and American missionaries
6. Sowing & Reaping
· Give and it shall be given back to you; Love, Compassion, Forgiveness, Judging Others & Condemnation (Luke 6:31, 35- 38).
· His earthly life was not going to bear much fruit, till He dies and is buried (John 12:24).
· Give your life away, and you shall have it in return (Luke 9:24).
· The feeding of the 5.000 with 5 loaves of bread and two pieces of fish.
· Go labour on, spend and be spent.
7. Solitude & Power in Prayer
The gospel books records several instances where Jesus prayed alone and also in public to show His dependence on His Father. Though He was the Beloved Son and actually God, He still prayed (Hebrews 5:7 – 9).
· He believed that prayer was real (Matthew 21:22)
· He prayed all night before the selection of His disciples
· He battled in prayer at the Garden the night before He was crucified
8. Love & Compassion
His whole life was LOVE. Everything he ever did was prompted by love.
· He wept at the tomb of Lazarus (John 11:25)
· He had compassion on the people that he ministered to
· He refused to condemn Mary Magdalene
9. Silence & Space for God’s Vengeance
Despite the enormous power of God available to believers, we are to exercise great caution in how we use this power. Life & Death are found in the tongue of the believer, but the believer is expected to bless his enemies (Romans 12:14, 18 - 21).
· He stopped Peter from killing Marcus
· He declined the temptation to call upon the angels for his deliverance.
· While they insulted him, he remained silent (1st Peter 2:23).
David didn’t kill King Saul, even though he had every chance to do it (1st Samuel 24:1). Carefully analyzing the usage of the immense power available to Prophet Elisha, one can conclude that he failed to exercise self-control.
· In dealing with the children who teased him (2nd Kings 2:23-24).
· In dealing with the erring Gehazi (2nd Kings 5:25 – 27).
A recap of the attitudes discussed above.
1. Love & Compassion
2. Selflessness & Self-Denial
3. Servant Service
4. Obedience to the Will of God
5. Self-Control & Meekness
6. Sacrifices & Sufferings
7. Sowing & Reaping
8. Solitude & Power of Prayer
9. Silence & Space for God’s Wrath