To this you were called, because Christ suffered for you, leaving you an example,
that you should follow in his steps.
1 Peter 2:21
Early followers of Jesus were called Little Christs because their newfound faith had transformed their lives for all to see. This odd group of people from all walks of life – rich and poor, male and female, slave and free -- were markedly different from the rest of society. They somehow had grown more caring and generous toward both neighbors and strangers alike, and they willingly sacrificed their time and resources to ease sorrow and correct injustices.
They had abandoned their old, selfish tendencies in favor of Someone much greater. In a word, they were changed.
And that says a lot for their leader -- an obscure rabbi from a distant corner of the Roman Empire who just happened to be God’s own Son. Few recognized that at the time. But because some did and led changed lives while following Jesus, millions in future generations would in turn help to change the world for the better.
Modern-day Christ-followers must too set aside their selfish deeds and desires in favor of following Jesus’ example. Like those first disciples transformed by the words of the Sermon on the Mount, we should recognize that Jesus the Leader was also Jesus the Follower. Christ spoke constantly with His Father (God) in prayer and always sought His guidance.
“I tell you the truth, the Son can do nothing by himself; he can do only what he sees his Father doing,” explained Jesus, “because whatever the Father does the Son also does.”
It’s a radical approach that’s just as life-changing today as it was 20 centuries ago. And it’s also an approach that calls for personal action, commitment and sacrifice. But we can’t change on our own. So whether you’ve been following Jesus five years or 55, grasp every opportunity to become more like Him, walk in His ways and see the world through His eyes. Then ask God to fill you with His Holy Spirit – that personal, loving Power Who makes it possible to leave your old self behind and become a new creation. Eventually, through the trials of life and the whispers of His leadings, we’ll become the men and women our Creator always dreamed we could be.