Jesus made this promise at the beginning of his ministry. He said that people would find what he had to say and do refreshing and comforting. Rather than principally preach to religious leaders ,he spoke to the poor and the downtrodden and the lowly. Religious leaders treated the poor with contempt but Jesus gave them his attention and was interested in them.
Poor Lowly People Are Important
Both by word and example, Jesus showed that people of poor background and lowly disposition were extremely important. Most of the miracles that Jesus performed were evidently performed around the Sea of Galilee in the north of Israel where people were generally less prosperous. Some of the most outstanding miracles were performed on behalf of widows and beggars as well as the very sick and leprous in society.
What Jesus left behind were gospel accounts recorded by contemporaries and eyewitnesses that specifically focused on his example as a teacher and a kindly person. Jesus principle quality was love. Interestingly Jesus said that his disposition towards love was based on the characteristic of God and the Bible indicates that God is love or love personified.
Avoiding Confused Beliefs
Following the first century preaching activity of Jesus the apostles and disciples, the various branches of the Christian congregation fused with Greek and Roman concepts to form a clergy and laity society and religious beliefs Incorporated ideas drawn from Egypt, Assyria, Babylon, Persia, Greece and the Roman world. Thus in most secular religions today we can see examples of this approach to Christianity whereby a clergy or ruling class exercise authority over the membership of the organization. This is often less than refreshing. When you consider the wars that have been fought in the name of religion including many crusades you can only conceive that this is something completely different to the refreshing message of the Christ. Consider the way that religion has been embroiled in warfare in the 20th century, blessing the troops on different sides of the world war. They called out “God is with us” echoing the gods of war from the time of the Greeks and the Romans and far different from the God of love that Jesus taught.
Jesus famously said “those who live by the sword will die by the sword.” He had nothing to do with war and taught that his followers would be neutral in political matters.
Today it is a confusing situation that we see around the world because religions primarily teach a fusion of beliefs based on specific verses found in the Bible and a combination of myth, legend, ancient belief and self promotional thinking. This makes it very difficult for people who want to be Christians.
How We Can Be Like Jesus
How can we be like Jesus? Jesus taught that everyone who was taught would become like their teacher. Just as sons and daughters often take on the characteristics of their parents so those who learn from Christ become like Christ. Christ Jesus was thoughtful and considerate and loving. He was patient and kind. He did not confuse his followers with constantly changing ideas and confused beliefs but he explained in the simplest of terms, basic Bible truths.
Jesus was honest with his followers and explained that all things would be made new and all problems would be solved when he returned in kingdom power. He pointed forward to his return. This return was to be some years into the future after a time period of great trouble on a worldwide scale. Bible prophecy pointed forward through time to the modern day. Today we live on the very cusp of Jesus return.
Focus on The Gospels
We can be refreshing and become like Christ Jesus by studying the gospel accounts. While it is true that there are lots of interesting accounts in the Hebrew Scriptures, many of these accounts are abbreviated and do not contain complete discussions and explanations to various events. It would be easy to become focused on looking at some of these early accounts and trying to puzzle them but it must also be acknowledged that many of these accounts are incomplete. as to details. Instead of focusing on this point it is good to take into account the apostle Paul’s comments that indicated that much of the Hebrew Scriptures was designed to point forward to the coming of the Christ. It is the Christian Greek Scriptures and particularly the gospel accounts that should be the focus in the modern era. This reduces the passages for study down to a small section of the Bible. This is a manageable section of the Bible to read.
The gospel accounts give a good indication of how a Christian should live. As we read the accounts of Jesus actions and his gentle training of the apostles we can ask ourselves how we can become more like the example of the Christ. As we look at the various apostles we may see personality traits that we need to adjust just as they had to learn from the Christ and adjust their personalities to suit a more loving personality. All of us would do well to consider closely the gospel accounts and learn from these about Jesus. Then we can make it our aim to be refreshing to others.
If we find ourselves being demanding can we adjust our actions to be more considerate. If we find that we are treating people in a demeaning way or disrespectful way can we adjust our behavior to give respect and appreciation. When did we last say thank you? When did we last leave a positive review for example of a business or organization that went out of its way to give exceptional service? There are many things that we can do. There are many charities that need our support. In the time remaining until Christ’s return many people are dying of cancer and other related illnesses. Can we set aside some funds to assist these charitable organizations to do some good for others. As you look through the day and consider the various accounts found in the Gospels we are all sure to find examples of things that we can do that will support others and be refreshing.