The idea of imitating Jesus is no groundbreaking or revolutionary theological or spiritual concept. In fact, as I write, I am looking at a book on my shelf titled, “The Imitation of Christ” by Thomas A’Kempis. It has a pretty good shelf life, it’s only about 700 hundred years old.
But this morning as I was reading the Acts of the Apostles, I was really struck at how the holy scriptures repeat certain themes, and how figures throughout the New Testament mimic Jesus. For example, in chapter 21 of Acts, Paul is arrested in Jerusalem, and the Jews claim that he “is teaching everyone everywhere against our people, our law, and [the Temple].” Huh, sound like somebody else you may have heard of?
Paul imitates Christ by stirring up the people of Jerusalem. The Apostle was arrested for his dedication to the Lord and his relentless pursuit of the truth, regardless of the cost.
That is where we too are called to imitate Jesus. We have to speak and act the truth, even if it is uncomfortable. For our sake, Jesus didn’t bow into the pressures that told him to take the easy road of falsity. Rather, he followed the truth, and the truth has set us free.