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Do as I do, AND as I say

We've all heard the familiar adage: "Do as I say, not as I do." It's a cover up of our own shortcomings. It's a way of saying, "Look, I know what the right thing to do is here, but I probably won't do it, but you should." At any rate, at some point we all have felt like the victim of this phrase and we have probably all used it, much to our own chagrin.

A couple days ago I was reflecting on Jesus challenge to "Go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them and teaching them everything I have commanded you." (Matt 28:19-20)
If we are called to be Jesus' disciples then that means we ought to say and do the things that Jesus says and does. It's only logical, right? Well I have spent much of my life reading through the gospel narratives, listening to weekly sermons, reading Christian literature, and studying the Bible in small groups. While I consistently learn something new every time I read the Word of God and focus on Jesus' teaching, I can't ever say that I have focused solely on what Jesus did. I know what He said, what He taught, but I don't usually focus on what He did.

Jesus' disciples had direct access to Him 7 days a week for 3 years. They were familiar with His teachings but they also would have been familiar with the sleep patterns He practiced, what He ate, how often, when he fasted, what time of day He prayed, how He prayed, etc. etc.

Jesus wasn't just about saying the right thing or providing insightful teachings from the Old Testament at the local synagogue; no, Jesus was all about healing the sick, rebuking the hypocrites, and changing people's lives. "The Son of Man came to serve, not to be served." (Mark 10:45)

Jesus was full of action and He called His disciples along to that action as well. He warned John and James that they would have to drink the cup of suffering he would drink if they followed Him (Mark 10:35-45), He sent out His disciples in pairs to teach in the surrounding areas and gave them instructions on what to do (Matthew 10), He warned them that they would have to leave their family and even hate their own father and mother in order to follow the way of God (Luke 14:26).

Jesus calls us to action and to knowledge. He asks us to do as He says and as He does.

I would challenge you to read through one of the gospel accounts (Matthew, Mark, Luke or John) and focus on the actions of Jesus. What did He do? What made Him cry? laugh? What did He become indignant about? Who did He heal? spend time with?

This morning I woke up early to go on a training run for the Flying Pig and I took my phone with me. I was able to listen to the entire book of Mark by the time I finished. It is amazing what you can pick up from God's Word when you go through an entire book at one time. Especially when you have a study plan in place (like focusing on the actions of Jesus).

I pray that the Holy Spirit teaches you something new about Himself as you pursue Him today.

PS
Did you know that there is one account in the Gospel of Mark that mentions something Jesus could not do? Mark 6:5 says that Jesus could not do any miracles in His home town of Nazareth and that He was amazed at their lack of faith. I firmly believe that Jesus was fully capable of healing people in His hometown, and that Jesus fully wanted to perform miracles there in Nazareth, but that the people's lack of faith in Him (because they had known Him from when He was a child) prevented them from being able to witness God's mighty hand at work.
God is always ready to do great things in your life, but you have to have the faith in Him that He will do such things. I pray that we can all be like the man in Mark 9:24, "I do believe, help my unbelief!"

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