Jesus says it is enough to be like Him. What does He mean? May this message encourage you and challenge you to press on with Him!
[SW112] 10/19/2013 message notes by Rev. Susan J. Wynn ©2013
“To Be Like Him”
Matthew 10:24 “ A disciple is not above his teacher, nor a slave above his master. 25 “It is enough for the disciple that he become like his teacher, and the slave like his master. If they have called the head of the house Beelzebul, how much more will they malign the members of his household!”
Those who love Jesus want to be like Him.
It’s our only desire!
We want all of His qualities,
not so we can admire our own goodness,
but so that His goodness comes from us more and more!
The context of this passage is persecution, but the Lord spoke to my heart:
A disciple is not above his teacher, nor is a slave above his master.
It is enough for the disciple that he become like his teacher, and the slave like his master.
But He also says in Matthew 5:48, “Be perfect as your Father in heaven is perfect.”
So does Jesus contradict Himself? May it never be!
When I described the perfection He commands, in last week’s message,
I said that is God’s perfect love in our hearts,
His selflessness, His self-giving, and self-sacrificing love.
We have offered ourselves to Him fully, per Romans 12:1.
This is heart purity!
No more serving two masters — He is our Master!
And we no longer willfully disobey God —
all rebellion against Him and His commands is gone.
The sin nature is crucified! (Galatians 5:24)
It is a glorious thing, something from which He obtains glory,
for there is no way we could do this, in ourselves.
Yet those who have had their hearts filled with the perfect love of God
are not above Him —
that is, we are not greater than Him
or over Him when compared with Him.
We are not beyond Him or more than Him.
We servants are not greater than our Master.
We are His doulos, His bond-servants,
serving Him out of the very love of God that has filled our hearts!
We are His servants, obedient to Him,
ministering to Him continually.
But only He was persecuted yet did not strike back
nor even have a thought of it.
He did not sin by reacting to continual provocation
by the Jewish religious leaders,
though He responded to them with truth
and with holy indignation at their spiritual blindness.
But we still react to these things.
We have unintentionally sinned —
we have not rebelled against God, for that is intentional sin,
but we are taken by surprise.
We do not plan to sin, nor do we oppose God,
but an ember of irritation or impatience glows,
when we are taken by surprise.
We sense when we have unintentionally sinned,
because we are sensitive to the Holy Spirit.
We immediately stop,
take authority over Satan who has tempted us,
we rebuke him in Jesus’ name,
and ask Jesus Christ to cleanse us.
It is enough for the disciple to become like his teacher, and the slave like his master.
It is enough — it is sufficient and satisfactory —
for us to become like Him,
to become one who lives according to Him,
living even as He lived when He was on the earth.
It is enough to live and walk in the same manner as He did:
1John 2:4 The one who says, “ I have come to know Him,” and does not keep His commandments, is a liar, and the truth is not in him; 5 but whoever keeps His word, in him the love of God has truly been perfected. By this we know that we are in Him: 6 the one who says he abides in Him ought himself to walk in the same manner as He walked.
If you are willfully disobeying God,
you do not know Him.
But if you obey God,
He has filled you with His perfect love,
His Spirit, His righteousness, His fruit.
And we walk in the same manner,
we walk like our Lord,
though not completely sinless as He was,
and it is enough.
Do not, dear ones, try to excuse willful rebellion against God
through what I am saying.
But unintentional sin CAN happen to us,
a surprise, a reaction, an ember glowing.
One of John Wesley’s veterans (those who preached with him)
called it, “an old bone.”
He reacted to persecution
by thinking he’d like to hog-tie his persecutor.
He did not do it, and he asked the Lord to deliver Him.
In that way, I have found I can do no more than be like Christ.
1John 4:17 By this, love is perfected with us, so that we may have confidence in the day of judgment; because as He is, so also are we in this world.
“Therefore, be perfect as your Father in heaven is perfect.” (Matthew 5:48)
Being perfect is walking like Christ
because we are filled with the perfect love of God (Romans 5:5)!
Our hearts are pure, no longer divided, but totally His!
He says it is enough to be like Him,
It is enough to be filled with God’s perfect love.
That is what makes us pliable and able to be entwined with Him,
and through that intimacy,
we become more and more like Him.
AND . . . we are ever being changed into His likeness,
once our hearts are His:
2Corinthians 3:17 Now the Lord is the Spirit, and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is liberty. 18 But we all, with unveiled face, beholding as in a mirror the glory of the Lord, are being transformed into the same image from glory to glory, just as from the Lord, the Spirit.
When the Holy Spirit has filled us, there is liberty!
There is freedom from slavery to sin!
Our rebellious hearts have been plucked out,
and replaced with hearts that respond to God.
And as we behold the Lord,
with His glory shining from our faces,
we are made more and more like Him,
through the work of the Holy Spirit.
There is no end to this “being like Him!”
A wonderful man of God once said, “There is no such thing as a stationary Christian.”
Even after His Spirit has filled us
and His perfect love is in our hearts,
We must continue to grow more like Him.
We must press on toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus (Philippians 3:14).
And if God’s perfect love is in us, we yield to Him with great joy!
In 2 Peter 1:4-12, Peter expresses what happens
before and after God’s perfect love has filled us.
We apply all diligence (earnestness, effort, and haste). To do what?
To supply, to add to, to fully nourish our faith
by adding moral excellence to it,
And to that, intimate knowledge,
knowing our Lord intimately through the Holy Spirit
And to that, Spirit-control
At this point, I believe the Spirit fills our hearts with God’s love.
But to that, we add perseverance amidst persecution and temptation
And to that, godliness
And to that, brotherly kindness,
And to that, love — God’s love, revealed more and more in you and through you.
For beloved, if these qualities are in you and increasing,
you are useful and fruitful,
for it is the evidence
that you truly and intimately know the Father and the Son,
and your heart is full of His perfect love.
Image to image, glory to glory.
He will do it, if we apply all diligence —
earnestness, effort, and haste!
Are you increasing? If you are not, cry out!
For if you lack these qualities, you have become blind or short-sighted,
and have forgotten your purification from your former sins.
Are you still willfully disobeying God?
Then, beloved, I pray you come to the end of yourself,
just as I did 12 years ago.
If you confess your sin to Him,
and ask Him to forgive you
and make you right on the inside,
He will do it!
He’ll break the power of cancelled sin,
and set the prisoner free!
Let these words be a plumb line for you
as they have been for me this week.
And if you find you are not plumb,
go to the Lord and ask Him to do what only He can do.
The Holy Spirit will pour out God’s perfect love into your heart,
and you will find every rebellious bone gone,
and that you are able to be like Jesus!