The Walk – Week 5, Day 1 – “I have set you an example”

John 13:12-17 When he had finished washing their feet, he put on his clothes and returned to his place. “Do you understand what I have done for you?” he asked them. 13 “You call me ‘Teacher’ and ‘Lord,’ and rightly so, for that is what I am. 14 Now that I, your Lord and Teacher, have washed your feet, you also should wash one another’s feet. 15 I have set you an example that you should do as I have done for you. 16 Very truly I tell you, no servant is greater than his master, nor is a messenger greater than the one who sent him. 17 Now that you know these things, you will be blessed if you do them.

John 20:19-21 On the evening of that first day of the week, when the disciples were together, with the doors locked for fear of the Jewish leaders, Jesus came and stood among them and said, “Peace be with you!” 20 After he said this, he showed them his hands and side. The disciples were overjoyed when they saw the Lord. 21 Again Jesus said, “Peace be with you! As the Father has sent me, I am sending you.” 22 And with that he breathed on them and said, “Receive the Holy Spirit. 23 If you forgive anyone’s sins, their sins are forgiven; if you do not forgive them, they are not forgiven.”

Years ago when Connie and lived in Topeka Kansas we sometimes went to a park where there was a little cottage or a garden study. In that cottage, in 1896, a local pastor named Charles Sheldon had written a classic book titled: “In His Steps”. It was a book that challenged Christians to live their lives in the footsteps of Jesus. It is in that book that the question, “What would Jesus do?” first shows up. The question comes up when a poor man hanging around outside a church hears the people singing, All for Jesus, All for Jesus – All my being’s ransomed powers, All my thoughts, and all my doings,- all my days and all my hours. The poor man says he doesn’t get it. He says he sees so much suffering in the world and yet he hears these Christians in the nice clothes, living in nice houses, with money to spend on luxuries while all around there is so much need and so much suffering. It is in context that he asks the question, “What would Jesus do?” He is implying that Jesus would love and care for others.

In the 1990 that question was popularized through WWJD bracelets. And then, as is typical in a cynical culture, the question became a tool for marketing, as in campaigns that asked, What would Jesus buy or what would Jesus drive.” It was used to push the, “What would Jesus eat?” diet cookbook which claimed to be the ultimate diet for longer life. It shows up, somewhat tongue in cheek on a website named, What would Jesus listen to, a website that offers reviews on Christian electronic dance music. People just took it and ran with it and than adapted it! There’s an online blog called, What would Tyler Durden Do? That’s a reference to a character in the novel and then movie Fight Club. The expression pops up now in many different forms. What would Johnny Cash do? What would Lincoln do?

In the end this idea that people might actually pattern their lives after the example of Jesus and imitate him, and try to do what he would do in daily life get’s lost in what been turned into an ironic and light-hearted catch phrase that we don’t have to take seriously. We don’t need to try to revitalize or redeem the particular phrase; “What would Jesus do?” We don’t need to pass out bracelets either. But if we want to follow Jesus, we do have to take the reality of living like him and doing what he would do seriously. When Jesus calls us to follow him. He is calling us to live like him. He wants you to live the way he lived.

Look at John 13:15, and reflect on some of the ways Jesus is, or can be an example for you. Write them down below.

Look at John 20:21 and reflect on some of the ways you have been sent by the father just as the Father send Jesus. Write them down below.

Our memory verse this week is; John 20:21 Again Jesus said, “Peace be with you! As the Father has sent me, I am sending you.”

Continue reading the Bible. I want to keep the reading list for Scripture for this project relatively simple and easily assessable. If you finish John consider reading Galatians, Ephesians, Philippians or Luke. I’d recommend sticking to those books for the most part during “The Walk”. If you are really wanting to branch out consider asking the group or person you are doing The Walk with to make suggestions. The important thing is to try to be consistent in your reading. Write down your questions, thoughts and insights as you read. Don’t forget to review your memory verse from last week and this week.

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~ by Larry Kirk on February 17, 2012.

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