Today's Lectionary Text
1 John 2:6
Whoever claims to live in him must live as Jesus did.
How Did Jesus Live?
HDJL? Not as catchy as WWJD, but a similarly important question.
I’ve seen paintings of Jesus with facial hair, and others clean shaven, so I’m not sure about that. I imagine he had some decent sandals, but did he also walk barefoot? And although we know what kinds of foods were available back then, I have no idea what Jesus’ favorites were. Was he big into dates? olives? lamb?
No idea. And that’s just the tip of the iceberg. Sure, I want to “live as Jesus did”, but there’s so much I don’t know. Did he tell jokes as he walked along with his disciples? Did he cuss when he stubbed his toe? Was he always serious? Was he ever sarcastic?
I don’t know! And if you’re in the 12-30 age range (few of my readers are), how are you going to know how Jesus lived during those ages? We don’t have even a shred of info about his adolescent years. People wonder — did he go study with the Essenes? Did he journey to the far east and learn how to meditate? Was he building fences with his dad?
We don’t know. There’s so much about how Jesus lived that we don’t have a clue about. And probably never will. Virtually all we have to go by are these four accounts–the four gospels–that were written decades after Jesus’ death, and focus solely on his ministry.
If we are to live as Jesus lived, do we need a time machine? Do we need a history degree to make some educated guesses?
Actually, the writer of 1 John (we’re not entirely sure who wrote this!) answers this question in verse 5, the previous verse:
Do you get that? Living in Jesus means, essentially, two things: Love and Obedience. When we Love God the way Jesus did, and we are obedient to God the way Jesus was, then we’re doing it. We’re living, in the vital ways, as Jesus did.
The Gospels focus on these two examples of Jesus’ way of living over and over again. He teaches by word and example what it means to have obedience to and love for God, and how that extends into every facet of our lives. We don’t need to know if Jesus had a sweet tooth or what his favorite color was. The Gospels tell us what we need to know: Jesus lived in full relationship with God, and we are called to do the same.
We don’t know all the answers to HDJL, and we don’t have to know. We know what matters.
The only important question that remains for us is…
Have a great week,
-Rev. Mitch Todd
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