In Parts 1 and 2 of this series, I explained why I believe loving and judging others is only possible to do righteously when applied in three different ways, the first two of which I wrote about in Parts 1 and 2. Jesus interacted with three distinctly different groups of people in three distinctly different ways. And His is the model we should use to define a Christian lifestyle.
As we’ve looked into these groups of people, I’ve invited you to join me in discovering which groups you fall into. If you haven’t related to the previous groups, you’ll probably fall into this. Even so, be aware that it’s a hard one to say in and you might have a tendency towards one of the others.
One more time, the three different groups:
Sinners who lived a life of sin
Sinners who were pridefully religious and rigid hypocrites
Sinners who were his friends and followers
Because these people still exist, Jesus’ models of how to approach them are still relevant.
These are people who have committed their lives to living like Jesus and leading other people by example. They want to know Jesus better through relationship and through studying His life and teachings. Are you sure this is you? Even if it is, are you treating other followers the way Jesus did?
How did Jesus respond?
In John 17:11-19, we get a good picture through His prayer for His followers. He strongly corrected when necessary because they gave Him permission to by being His friend. He loved them, taught them and lived life with them. He helped them in tough situations and led them by example.
How do we respond?
Do life with other Christians. Encourage them in their faith. Understand that encouraging them in their walk with Jesus sometimes means checking in on how their relationship with Jesus is – and allowing them to do that for you too. Sometimes it means correcting them when they’ve done something against how Jesus lived (Matthew 18:15-17).
Be there for them, challenge them, and encourage them. We weren’t meant to do life alone – Jesus didn’t even do it alone.
In all, live like Jesus: He was an anomaly of a person in His culture, but He did not avoid that culture – He engaged it and transformed it.
From a message I gave at Elevate.