Lots and lots to ponder in chapter 2. Much more than could be covered in this post so I am just going to focus on one verse – verse 6:
“Whoever says he abides in Jesus ought to walk in the same way in which Jesus walked.”
The word “abide” is one of my favorite words in the Newer Testament. Maybe because it was one of the Apostle John’s favorite words. He uses it 9x in chapter 2 alone. And perhaps it was one of the Apostle John’s favorite words because Jesus liked it so much. John famously quoted Jesus in John 15 where He said, “I am the vine; you are the branches. Whoever abides in me and I in him, he it is that bears much fruit, for apart from me you can do nothing.”
So how do you abide. There are NOT 3 easy steps that you can take to start abiding. Abiding has to do with relationship. J. C. Ryle put it like this:
To abide in Christ means to keep up a habit of constant close communion with Him – to be always leaning on Him, resting on Him, pouring out our hearts to Him, and using Him as our Fountain of life and strength, as our chief Companion and best Friend. To have His words abiding in us, is to keep His sayings and precepts continually before our memories and minds, and to make them the guide of our actions and the rule of our daily conduct and behavior.
And Andrew Murray put it like this:
It is only into the thirst of an empty soul that the streams of living waters flow. Ever thirsting is the secret of never thirsting. A soul filled with large thoughts of the Vine will be a strong branch, and will abide confidently in Him. Be much occupied with Jesus, and believe much in Him, as the True Vine.
“Walk in the same way in which Jesus walked” – As I pondered this part of the verse I was reminded of 1 Peter 2:21 which says, “Christ suffered for you as an example that you might follow in His steps.” Back in 1896, Charles Sheldon wrote a book called In His Steps. It is the story of a pastor who, while preaching on 1 Peter 2:21, challenged his congregation to ask the question “What would Jesus do?” before they did anything. It is a great book. A classic book.
Back in 1989, a youth group up in Holland Michigan, after reading the book together, decided to embrace the challenge. To remind themselves to ask the question they created bracelets that said “What would Jesus do?” And thus was born the WWJD movement that swept the American Christian world in the 1990’s.
“What would Jesus do” is still a great question to ask. But another great question to ask to help discern the answer to “what would Jesus do” is to ask the question “what DID Jesus do”? So here is a short list of some of the things we see Jesus regularly doing as He walks through the gospels…
- He spent time with the Father
- He embraced the outcasts
- He gave hope to the hopeless
- He confronted hypocrisy
- He taught the Word of God
- He served others
- He genuinely cared for people
- He developed leaders
“Whoever says he abides in Jesus ought to walk in the same way in which Jesus walked.” The natural result of abiding is to walk in the same way that Jesus walked. Think about those quotes by Ryle and Murray and practice abiding until you get great at it.
May this brick encourage you to abide diligently so that you can walk in the same way that Jesus walked!