IN HIS STEPS
1Pe 2:21,“To this you were called, because Christ suffered for you, leaving you an example, that you should follow in His steps.”
Charles M. Sheldon wrote a good book entitled, In His Steps based on the Scripture cited above. However, there are many misconceptions and misunderstandings as to what does it mean to follow in Jesus’ steps. There are pseudo-spiritual counselors and false teachers who explain by asking ourselves：What would Jesus do? The application borders on blasphemy and dwells deep in stupidity. During the American presidential election, some white supremacists exploited the notion by asking whom Jesus would vote. Think about Jesus would vote for any corrupt and deceptive politician? Do you really think Jesus would approve any liar and killer since the end of World War II which American presidents are found to be guilty? Why would Jesus endorse agents of the ruler of this world? That was using the name of Jesus in vain! In the first place, there are many things that Christians would do and need to do as human beings that Jesus would never do and had no need to do. These blind leaders of the blind do not know that Jesus Christ was perfect Man and perfect God, having full divinity and full humanity.
The most facetious and false application of following in Jesus’step is illustrated by questions like: What would Jesus do? Whom would Jesus vote for the presidential candidate? In the first place, there are many things what we must do which Jesus does not. Jesus does not select a mate, does not look for a job, does not buy a home, does not join a party, does not vote, does not go to a university, does not invest, etc. There have been quite a few presidential candidates who claimed to have been led by God to run for presidency. Now do you know how to count, why would God lead some persons to run for the presidency at the same time since the job is one? What would Jesus do or not do are already written in the Bible. For example Christians cannot support what is condemned by the Word of God，such as homosexuality or same sex marriage. Thus, Christians cannot vote for or support a politician who supports homosexuality or same sex marriage. In principle we support whatever the Word of God approves and oppose whatever the Bible condemns – that is following in Jesus’step.
1. You need to go to school.
Jesus never did. Jhn 7:15,“The Jews then were astonished, saying: How has this Man become learned, having never been educated?”
Note: To be astonished in Greek is thaumazō which means to wonder, wonder at, marvel, amaze; - it occurs about 47 times in the New Testament.
I told my students: people were born stupid (this may sound offensive, but it is true), that is why they need to be educated. Jesus was born wise, the Wisdom of God. When Jesus was twelve years old, He went up to Jerusalem with Joseph and Mary at the Feast of the Passover.
Luk 2:46-47, “Now so it was that after three days they found Him in the temple, sitting in the midst of the teachers, both listening to them and asking them questions. And all who heard Him were astonished at His understanding and answers.”
Today in American education (from nursery to university) is a big business. China infected by American capitalism, education is also a big business. How many college presidents and professors and high school and elementary school teachers have been corrupted by money. It is really a shame; learning used to be a virtue, now it becomes a vice among many teachers and students in committing fraud, etc. Anything that is fundamentally essential can become a monopolistic power such as healthcare, etc. and become fraudulent and predatory.
What questions and anwers you give truly reflect your understanding.
Jhn 8:3-8,“Then the scribes and Pharisees brought to Him a woman caught in adultery. And when they had set her in the midst, they said to Him: Teacher, this woman was caught in adultery, in the very act. Now Moses, in the law, commanded us that such should be stoned. But what do You say? This they said, testing Him, that they might have something of which to accuse Him. But Jesus stooped down and wrote on the ground with His finger, as though He did not hear. So when they continued asking Him, He raised Himself up and said to them: He who is without sin among you, let him throw a stone at her first. And again He stooped down and wrote on the ground.”
Note: The Bible does not say what Jesus wrote on the ground. Won’t it be interesting if it was: He who is without sin among you, let him throw a stone at her first! There are many provocative questions raised by enemies of Christ, it would be fine to act as though we did not hear. For example, how do you know there is a God?
Psa 14:1, “To the choirmaster. Of David. The fool says in his heart: There is no God. They are corrupt, they do abominable deeds, there is none that does good.” The fool says in his heart there is no God. How do you answer the question: Can you prove there is a sun while you are walking under the sunlight?
Do not ask the stupid question which university Jesus would attend. If you are a Christian, ask the Lord to lead you because what university you attend may affect your destiny. There are some unwise Christian schools their founders think they do not need to be accredited. There is no excuse for Christian schools to be below standard. In fact, a Christian university should be academically excellent, not only morally right.
Some ignorant preachers and evangelists think they can become learned having never been educated. Some thought it was a great honor to receive a D.D.degree. On the other hand, there have been many Th.D.s of unbelieving seminaries who were children of darkness and Satanic agents who distorted the Bible. There was only one John Bunyan who wrote The Pilgrim’s Progress. There was only one Martin Luther (do not confuse with an American black political preacher) who single-handedly translated the Hebrew Old Testament and Greek New Testament into German. Moses learned all the knowledge and wisdom of the Egyptians.
2Ti 2:15,“Study to present yourself to God as one approved, a workman who has no need to be ashamed, accurately handling the Word of truth.”
Note: As a rule, this Scripture is the command for every Christian believer and preacher of the Gospel. The more learned a person is, the more accurate he interprets the Word of truth.
2. You need a place to live.
Mat 8:20,“And Jesus said to him: Foxes have holes, and birds of the air have nests; but the Son of man has nowhere to lay his head.”
Note: There are something seriously wrong with preachers who have multi-million dollar mansions. Abraham lived in tent (temporary housing) because he was looking for a better city. You should not buy a house if you cannot afford it. American sub-prime mortgage was one of the infamous factors that caused the economic and financial crisis. Do according to your budget, it is nothing wrong to rent an apartment. Although in America the system favors the landlords at the expense of the renters. Often renters are oppressed by the landlords or their managers.
Psa 37:16,“Better is a little that the righteous has than the abundance of many wicked.”
Note: In the West you are measured and valued by what you have – a big house, fancy cars, fashionable clothes, large sum of cash and bank accounts, high position, etc. – make you admired and respectable. Some minorities admired drug dealers for the same reason. The richest man in the world may be the biggest crook, and yet people admire him. The Western values of money, power and sex have an evil influence on the whole world.
Pro 15:17,“Better a meal of vegetables where there is love than a fattened calf with hatred.”
Note: There is no guarantee a rich home where there is love. There is no guarantee a poor home where there is love. It is certainly better to have a meal of vegetables where there is love than to have a feast with steaks and abalones and gourmet with hatred.
Pro 21:9,“It is better to live in a corner of the housetop than in a house shared with a contentious woman.”
Note: Contentious means brawling, belligerent, quarrelsome.
Pro 21:19, “It is better to live in a desert land than with a contentious and morose woman.”
Note: A hut with a lovely woman is better than a mansion with a contentious and morose woman. A home should be a place of peace and quiet, warmth and comfort, nurture and culture.
3. You need food and clothes.
Luk 12:23, “For life is more than food, and the body more than clothing.”
Luk 12:27-32,“Consider the lilies, how they grow; they neither toil nor spin; yet I tell you, even Solomon in all his glory was not arrayed like one of these. But if God so clothes the grass which is alive in the field today and tomorrow is thrown into the oven, how much more will he clothe you, O men of little faith! And do not seek what you are to eat and what you are to drink, nor be of anxious mind. For all the nations of the world seek these things; and your Father knows that you need them. Instead, seek his kingdom, and these things shall be yours as well. Fear not, little flock, for it is your Father's good pleasure to give you the Kingdom.”
Note: There are preachers who are so proud because they wear a $10,000 suit or women who wear $100,000 mink coats. It is unconscionable and unworthy and unbecoming for preachers to live in luxuries. It is also unbecoming for Christians to live a lavish lifestyle. The richest 2,000 Americans have more money than the poorest 2 billion people in the world. If there are some Christians among the richest 2,000 Americans, they should lay up treasures in heaven by offering their money for the furtherance of the Gospel and the work of the Lord. They can build free clinics for the poor, orphanages, old folk homes, free schools for poor children; giving out free Bibles, supporting missionaries, etc. Rich Christians, ask the Lord what He wants you to do. There is no point to waste $2,000 for pants while $100 will do. There was a fallen Pentecostal couple who preached prosperity gospel, whose wife said she enjoyed luxuries and loved expensive things. At least earn your own money, do not spend the Lord’s money on luxuries – robbing God is a serious sin. If you are predatory and fraudulent doctors, dentists, lawyers and Wall Street executives, do not fool yourselves thinking you are Christians. For a bad tree bears bad fruit.
Amo 4:1-2, “Hear this word, you cows of Bashan, who are on the mountain of Samaria, who oppress the poor, who crush the needy, who say to your husbands: Bring wine, let us drink! The Lord GOD has sworn by His holiness: Behold, the days shall come upon you when He will take you away with fishhooks, and your posterity with fishhooks.”
Note: The days shall come when the Lord shall judge corrupt and crooked politicians, officials, doctors, dentists, hospital owners, lawyers, and Wall Street executives.
4. You need a job.
2Th 3:12,“Now such persons we command and exhort in the Lord Jesus Christ to work in quiet fashion and eat their own bread.”
Note: In America, if you are a minority (non-white) you would encounter job discrimination. If you are a black, you will receive special treatment and privilege because of Affirmative Action. I knew a young man with advanced degree from a top university plus federal job experience at a most prestigious agency in Washington, D.C. A white H.R. employment agent interviewed and asked if he could climb a tree. I also knew a minority who had a CPA degree, she always worked for a white supervisor who did not have a CPA and even the VP of Finance of the company did not have a CPA. For a Christian, your career goal may not be the most important thing in your life. The most important thing is to find your lifework God wants you to do and do it. There are members of churches who claim they are Christians, since they have mental problems and other difficulties, so they think they are entitled to be taken care by other church members to have free housing, free food, etc. They think godliness is a material gain. These are false believers; do not waste your money and time on them.
However great is your need for a job, it is not God's will for you to sell cigarette, alcohol, illegal drug, and weapon of death.
2Th 3:10,“For even when we were with you, we used to give you this order: if anyone is not willing to work, then he is not to eat, either.”
Note: To order in Greek is paraggellō which means to command, charge; - it occurs 31 times in the New Testament. It is a Christian command to eat you must be willing to work. There are many reasons which cause America’s deficits and debts. One of the reasons is millions and millions of women who do not work and they just have sex with men who are not their husbands and produce children those men are not willing or able to support. So they are on welfare and they also receive free healthcare called Medicaid – a big business for doctors and hospitals to defraud the public.
There are people in Wall Street who do nothing but gamble on others’money and make several billions a year. There are bankers who mismanage their banks and lose money and still give themselves shamelessly billions in bonuses out of taxpayers’bailout money. Because those corrupt and greedy are making so much, so the workers are making so little. There are still millions and millions of American workers who earn a minimum wage between $7.30 to $10 an hour. Because of high executive compensations and perks, businesses and industries become uncompetitive. Millions of Americans lose their jobs have nothing to do with China or the value of Chinese currency. One phenomenon is most deadly and desperate: Those who are in their 50s become unemployable, they are too young to retire and too old to be hired because corporations like to hire the young at low wages. So do not ask the stupid question: What would Jesus do? Jesus did not need a job. Jesus was born to be the Savior of the world. As a Christian you can pray the Lord to lead you and to provide for you while you are doing the best you can.
2Th 3:8,“Nor did we eat anyone's bread without paying for it, but with labor and hardship we kept working night and day so that we would not be a burden to any of you.”
Note: Paul was a self-supporting apostle. With labor and hardship Paul kept working night and day so that he would not be a burden to any. There are now preachers of prosperity gospel and mega churches who live in luxuries. There are government employees who retire at 50 years old and receive large pension many times more than ordinary people would earn. There are many high ranking officials who become multi-millionaires simply because of government connection, they leave government and work for business and industry that do contracts with the government. Politicians and corrupt officials make the people poor because they enrich themselves and serve the special interests and commit waste and fraud.
1Cr 10:31,“Whether, then, you eat or drink or whatever you do, do all to the glory of God.”
Note: To be a beggar does not glorify God. There are many beggar preachers, all they do is asking for money and more money to enrich themselves. I recall a false preacher using the Great Wall as a background at a studio and asked for donations on TV claiming he was preaching the Gospel in China. There are preachers who think the offerings of believers to God for the spreading of the Gospel belong to them. They practice as depositories of tithes although Christians are not commanded to give tithes as the Jews were told to do. So they can use the money to build themselves empires and monuments in their names and leave estates to their children.
The happiest period of my life is when I do not need a job, and I do not have a boss. My job is to proclaim the Gospel of Jesus Christ absolutely free and stand for truth and justice, and my boss is the Lord Jesus. I no longer suffer under Theory X managers and abusive executives with discriminatory practices. I no longer work with malicious and big-headed and self-seeking colleagues who would sabotage your work and claim credit to your achievement. You cannot be free as long as you need a job.
5. You need a spouse.
It is normal for a man and a woman to get married. It is abnormal for a man to marry a man, or for a woman to marry a woman. Same-sex marriage is sinful and an abomination to God. Christians are allowed to get married in the Lord, Christians are not allowed to divorce. Servants of Christ are allowed to get married. Apostle Peter was married, whose mother-in-law was healed by the Lord. Celibacy is not commanded in the Bible, although there are people (men and women) who devote their lives to the work of the Gospel by being single. The Bible does not recognize pope, monk and nun. After years of study and observation, I conclude the teaching that marriage is made in heaven is false. Yes, there are some marriages which were made in Heaven. Let me name a few:
A. The marriage of Isaac to Rebekah - Gen Chapter 24
B. The marriage of Boaz to Ruth - Rth Chapter 4
C. The marriage of Joseph to Mary - Mat Chapter 1
Although I have known a lot of peoples in this world, I cannot recall a really happy marriage that I would admire and I do not know personally a marriage made in heaven; in America in particular where most people mistake sex for love. I am sure when Prince Charles of Britain and Princess Diana were married years ago in such a royal display of beauty and pomp, billions of people who watched the wedding ceremony would have believed the marriage was made in heaven. History proves otherwise.
1Cr 7:9,“But if they do not have self-control, let them marry; for it is better to marry than to burn with passion.”
Note: It is better to marry than to burn with passion. Catholic priests are not allowed to marry; they burned with passion and so raped thousands and thousands of boys and girls world-wide. Celibacy is not a Christian doctrine. Those who have spouses and engage in extra-marital affairs commit adultery. Promiscuity is sexual immorality.
1Cr 7:28,“But if you marry, you have not sinned; and if a virgin marries, she has not sinned. Yet such will have trouble in this life, and I am trying to spare you.”
Note: To have sex with your spouse is not a sin, it is a conjugal responsibility. Sex with love in marriage is good and beautiful. To marry or not to marry, you will have trouble in this life.
1Cr 7:36,“But if any man thinks that he is acting unbecomingly toward his virgin daughter, if she is past her youth, and if it must be so, let him do what he wishes, he does not sin; let her marry.”
Note: It is a shame in the West virgins before marriage have become extinct. The wicked thing is even an eleven year old girl got pregnant and has a baby. It is disgraceful for any society to have boys and girls at ten years old to engage in sexual intercourse.
1Ti 5:14,“Therefore I desire that the younger widows marry, bear children, manage the house, give no opportunity to the adversary to speak reproachfully.”
1Cr 7:39,“A wife is bound to her husband as long as he lives. If the husband dies, she is free to be married to whom she wishes, only in the Lord.”
Note: Christian widows may re-marry, especially younger widows because men still want them. Christian men and women are free to marry to whom they wish, unlike the Chinese tradition to require parental permission. The important thing is to marry only in the Lord. It is honorable for women to marry, bear children and manage the house. To be a good wife is the crown of her husband. To be a good mother is the blessing of her children.
Those who suggested that Jesus had sex with a bunch of women are children of the father of all lies. The holy and sinless Jesus never married or had sex with a woman.
When you want to pick a mate, you would never ask what Jesus would do. Jesus never married and never had a wife and never had sex with a woman. As a rule you should marry only in the Lord, never marry an immoral person or an unbeliever. Do not fancy thinking if you marry a prostitute she would repent and change after marriage. Do not fancy if you marry a drug addict, she would change after marriage. Do you think if you marry a drunkard, he would change and be responsible? Do not think if you marry a thief he would become honorable and honest after marriage. Do not marry an irresponsible man thinking he would change after marriage. Do not marry a drug addict or alcoholic thinking he/she would change after marriage. Do not marry a thief or robber thinking he/she would change after marriage. Do not marry a playboy or a promiscuous woman thinking he/she would change after marriage. There are many who look for the right mate all their lives and do not find one. If you are poor, how can you afford a woman who loves luxuries? A lazy person is not going to become industrial after marriage. Christians are free to marry only in the Lord. The Bible tells how God prepared a wife for Isaac, or a husband for Ruth, etc. I have read the Bible many times over; I do not find a promise that God will provide a Christian a husband or a wife. Not all marriages are made in heaven. In fact, very few marriages are made in Heaven. However, there is nothing wrong to pray for one. Who knows God will grant you a special favor?
6. You need a physician.
Mat 9:12,“But when Jesus heard this, He said: It is not those who are healthy who need a physician, but those who are sick.”
Note: Sooner or later everybody will get sick. The Chinese say, Flowers do not bloom for a hundred days, and people do not stay well for a thousand days. The old get sick more often and more serious than the young. For this reason, all over the world healthcare is a monopoly, especially in the West, and worst in America a capitalistic society. Doctors and hospitals can rob you and bankrupt you without a gun. For example, America has the highest healthcare cost with poor quality. Highest cost because of its predatory and fraudulent practices, poor quality because they are done not for the benefit of patients, but to maximize profits for doctors, hospitals, labs and medical suppliers, drug and insurance companies, etc. There are no terrorists like American healthcare terrorists who can fleece and defraud you with immunity. There are doctors and drug makers who terrorize people with false presentations of symptoms with deadly diseases and treatments and procedures in order to make big money out of you. Doctors who prescribe tests, procedures, treatments and drugs that you do not need are big thieves and robbers, crooks and criminals.
It is not a sin to buy health insurance; the problem is many cannot afford it. If you are employed with a big company, you usually are covered by insurance and premium deducted from your paycheck. If you are unemployed, you are like a sheep to be slaughtered. But if you are a poor black and other minority, you may be entitled to free healthcare called Medicaid. If you are rich, you have no problem. Some hospitals have special floors just for the rich and famous people to be pampered in luxuries and even a private chef. If you are neither rich nor poor, you are on your own. It is wicked for insurance companies to refuse a prospective customer because he/she has a pre-existing condition such as asthma, etc. It is the duty of government to regulate insurance companies so that all may be allowed to buy from the pool. The same thing applies to a company, all company employees should be covered whether you have a pre-existing condition or not, presumably smokers and drinkers and drug addicts must pay higher premiums because of their risks.
Mat 4:23,“Jesus was going throughout all Galilee, teaching in their synagogues and proclaiming the Gospel of the kingdom, and healing every kind of disease and every kind of sickness among the people.”
Note: While on earth Jesus healed all the sick who came to Him. Even today Jesus still can heal the sick, and give gifts to His servants to heal the sick; but it is not always God’s will to heal the sick. The Pentecostal churches are seriously wrong in teaching if you have faith, God will always heal you. That is un-Scriptural and very wrong, sometimes deadly wrong.
The sinless Jesus never got sick, so do not ask the stupid question: What would Jesus do? Jam 5:14,“Is anyone among you sick? Let him call for the elders of the church, and let them pray over him, anointing him with oil in the name of the Lord.”
2Ch 16:12,“In the thirty-ninth year of his reign Asa was diseased in his feet, and his disease became severe; yet even in his disease he did not seek the LORD, but sought help from physicians.”
Note: Remember, Asa died because he sought help only from physicians, in his disease he did not seek the Lord. Even you can afford a doctor and hospital and medicine, you should not have too much confidence in them. Don’t you know something about malpractice or incompetent doctors and negligent hospital practices? One young Christian woman had a simple appendectomy, after many months she still suffers pain and incurred a large sum of money for test and procedure to no avail. In addition, many evil doctors would perform unnecessary surgeries that may kill you, most expensive tests and procedures that may harm you, most costly medicine that is not effective or even deadly, etc. In the West, hospital emergency is the most dangerous place for your health and financial wellbeing.
7. You need friends.
No man is an island, you need friends. The saying is true: A friend in need is a friend indeed. In America, people who use each other are called friends. You can hardly find or have a true friend. People consider you a friend because you serve their purpose or purposes. If you do not believe me, ask yourself this pertinent question: How many persons you really can trust or rely on in time of trouble? In American society, people are alienated and selfish and self-serving. If you live in America all your life, and at the age of retirement you can say I have one friend I can truly count as a dependable friend - you are blessed. I recall when Vice President Agnew was popular he had many friends, when he fell from grace it was reported he had only one actor friend who helped him survive. I remember when I was successful, some professionals even declared they wanted to carry my bag. I returned in a joke, I can carry my own bag and cannot afford to hire people to carry my bag.
Pro 19:4,“Wealth adds many friends, but a poor man is separated from his friend.”
Note: In this world, particularly in a secular and materialistic society, poor people have no friends. Friends are not made but recognized with mutual commitment. When either of the elements is broken, friendship is dissolved. When you are rich and have power, you have many friends. Job was once the richest man in the east and when he was in adversity he said:
Job 19:14,“My relatives have failed, and my intimate friends have forgotten me.”
Remember, you may be in a situation that your relatives have failed you, and your intimate friends have forsaken you.
Psa 38:11,“My loved ones and my friends stand aloof from my plague; and my kinsmen stand afar off.”
This may be the worst situation, your loved ones stand aloof, and your kinsmen stand afar off. The love between a man and a woman is as thin as a sheet of paper. There is nothing comparable to the love of God, the love of Christ and the love of the Holy Spirit.
Pro 19:7,“All the brothers of a poor man hate him; how much more do his friends abandon him! He pursues them with words, but they are gone.”
Pro 18:24,“There are friends who pretend to be friends, but there is a friend who sticks closer than a brother.”
Note: Jesus is the Friend who sticks closer than a brother. In time of trouble, the Lord Jesus is the present help. In the day of trouble call upon the Lord, He will rescue you and you must glorify Him. I have found the promise of
Psa 50:15 to be true in my life more than a million times.
Jhn 15:13,“Greater love has no one than this, that one lay down his life for his friends.”
Note: Jesus Christ laid down His life for sinners who are enemies of God, how much more the Lord cares for His own children.
Jhn 15:14,“You are My friends if you do what I command you.”
Note: Some people are so proud to have friends in white house and state houses; there is nothing comparable to have Jesus as your Friend. Friends may disappoint you, but Jesus never disappoints His friends. If you do what Jesus commands, you are Jesus’friends.
Act 27:3,“The next day we put in at Sidon; and Julius treated Paul with consideration and allowed him to go to his friends and receive care.”
Note: It is a good thing to be a friend to a true servant of Christ. When a true servant of Christ suffers for Christ, you can participate in Christ’s sufferings by helping him.
Act 10:24,“On the following day he entered Caesarea. Now Cornelius was waiting for them and had called together his relatives and close friends.”
Note: Cornelius was a man of power and wealth; it was not difficult for him to have close friends. Find out who your close friends are, you will be surprised. Share the Gospel of Jesus Christ with your relatives and close friends.
8. You need achievement.
In a human life, there are different goals of achievement in different stages of life. As a student, you need academic achievement. You are not a man yet until you receive your B.A. degree. In your career, you need to become a professional – that means you need to have special skills to enable you to earn your livelihood. As a human being, you need to master communication skills – the ability to think, speak and write will help you grow and advance throughout your life. These three skills are big skills. Not everyone can be a good speaker. Much less people can be a good writer. There are very few thinkers. If you are a great thinker, writer and speaker – you are qualified to be a leader.
Luk 24:19,“And He said to them: What things? So they said to Him: The things concerning Jesus of Nazareth, who was a Prophet mighty in deed and word before God and all the people.”
Note: You cannot follow in Jesus’steps to be a prophet mighty in deed and word before God and all the people. A preacher is poor indeed who cannot preach. So many preachers have the ability of putting the congregations to sleep. Every Christian has duty to preach the Gospel, not everyone can become a preacher. A preacher must be called by Christ and has a gift. Occupational preachers only make a living and do not have the gift. I have not met a Chinese preacher who preaches the glorious Gospel of Jesus Christ. All Chinese preachers teach religion. I do not know why Chinese preachers do not preach the Gospel, whether they do not know how or they do not want to. There are more than 1 billion church members in the world who do not know whether they are saved or not, do not know the proof of their salvation, do not know if the Holy Spirit lives in them or not because preachers do not preach the most important truth in Christ.
Jesus was mighty in deed and performed countless miracles.
Jhn 6:19,“So when they had rowed about three or four miles, they saw Jesus walking on the sea and drawing near the boat; and they were afraid.”
Note: We cannot follow in Jesus’steps to walk on the sea. We would sink as Peter did.
Jhn 6:9-14,“There is a lad here who has five barley loaves and two small fish, but what are they among so many? Then Jesus said: Make the people sit down. Now there was much grass in the place. So the men sat down, in number about five thousand. And Jesus took the loaves, and when He had given thanks He distributed them to the disciples, and the disciples to those sitting down; and likewise of the fish, as much as they wanted. So when they were filled, He said to His disciples: Gather up the fragments that remain, so that nothing is lost. Therefore they gathered them up, and filled twelve baskets with the fragments of the five barley loaves which were left over by those who had eaten. Then those men, when they had seen the sign that Jesus did, said: This is truly the Prophet who is to come into the world.”
Note: We cannot follow Jesus’steps in feeding the five thousand with five barley loaves and two small fish. Needless to say, we cannot follow Jesus’steps in performing deeds of miracles. We are not mighty in deed and word before God and all the people. It is absolutely stupid to ask what Jesus would do. What Jesus could do is what we could not do.
The most important thing is not to have the power of Jesus, but to follow Jesus in doing the will of God. A Christian man can be a good husband and a good father. A Christian can live a humble and obedient life to glorify God. A Christian can obey Christ’s command to preach the Gospel. A Christian can share in the sufferings of Jesus. A Christian can be an honest worker. The happiest thing is to find out what God wants you to do and do it. Every Christian is assigned some lifework that he/she must perform. This is the secret of a happy Christian life.
have fought the good fight, I have finished the
race, I have kept the faith.”
Note: Apostle Paul said he had fought the good fight, finished the race and kept the faith. All Christians more or less must fight the good fight, finish the race and keep the faith.
9. The true meaning of following in the Lord’s steps.
1Pe 2:21,“To this you were called, because Christ suffered for you, leaving you an example, that you should follow in His steps.”
Note: Example in Greek is hypogrammos which means an example set before one which occurs only once in the New Testament. The example of the Lord is the example of suffering. Suffer in Greek is paschō which means to be afflicted, undergo evils, feel pain, endure misfortunes; - it occurs about 42 times in the New Testament. To follow in Jesus’steps requires suffering for Christ. To suffer for Christ requires humility and obedience.
Note: Jesus Christ leaves us an example, an example consists of humility and obedience. Humble in Greek is tapeinoō which means to make low, bring into a humble condition, bring down one's pride, reduce to meaner circumstance, abase oneself by humble living, stoop to the condition of a servant; - it occurs about 14 times in the New Testament.
Act 20:19,“Serving the Lord with all humility and with tears and with trials which came upon me through the plots of the Jews.”
Eph 4:2,“With all humility and gentleness, with patience, showing tolerance for one another in love.”
Phl 2:3,“Do nothing from selfishness or empty conceit, but with humility of mind regard one another as more important than yourselves.”
Note: Wall Street, Washington, and Hollywood are classical examples of selfishness or empty conceit.
Col 3:12,“So, as those who have been chosen of God, holy and beloved, put on a heart of compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience.”
Note: Predatory and fraudulent doctors, dentists, radiologists, and hospital owners, etc. have a heart of stone. They do not follow in His steps. Compassion is never in their mind; greed is always in their heart.
Jam 1:21,“Therefore, putting aside all filthiness and all that remains of wickedness, in humility receive the Word implanted, which is able to save your souls.”
Note: Arrogant supremacists, imperialists, monopolists and warmongers and unbelieving scientists cannot be saved because they do not want to receive the Word in humility.
1Pe 5:5,“You younger men, likewise, be subject to your elders; and all of you, clothe yourselves with humility toward one another, for GOD IS OPPOSED TO THE PROUD, BUT GIVES GRACE TO THE HUMBLE.”
To follow in His steps, humility must be accompanied by obedience.
Act 6:7,“And the Word of God increased; and the number of the disciples multiplied greatly in Jerusalem, and a great many of the priests were obedient to the faith.”
Note: To be obedient in Greek is hypakouō which means to harken to a command, submit to, listen; - it occurs about 21 times in the New Testament. Not only believe in the faith, we must be obedient to the faith.
Rom 6:16,“Do you not know that if you yield yourselves to any one as obedient slaves, you are slaves of the one whom you obey, either of sin, which leads to death, or of obedience, which leads to righteousness?”
Note: To be obedient to the faith means to yield to God, to do God’s will, to obey God’s command.
Rom 6:17,“But thanks be to God, that you who were once slaves of sin have become obedient from the heart to the standard of teaching to which you were committed.”
Note: To become obedient from the heart to the standard of teaching as Jesus teaches in the Gospels and as the apostles explains in the epistles. In sum, the New Testament is the standard of Christian teaching.
2Cr 2:9,“For this is why I wrote, that I might test you and know whether you are obedient in everything.”
Eph 6:5,“Slaves, be obedient to those who are your earthly masters, with fear and trembling, in singleness of heart, as to Christ.”
Note: To be obedient to Christ requires the singleness of heart. Singleness of heart means the virtue of one who is free from pretense and dissimulation, sincerity of mind towards Christ, and single-hearted faith in Christ.
Tts 3:1,“Remind them to be submissive to rulers and authorities, to be obedient, to be ready for any honest work.”
Note: Obedience to Christ demands honest work. Fraud and corruption are not honest work. Corrupt politicians and abusive officials and fraudulent executives do not do honest work and they do not follow in His steps.
If you seek wealth and glory and power in this world, you are not worthy to be a servant of Christ. What you worship is the ruler of this world who said to Jesus, “All these things I will give You if You will fall down and worship me.” If you want to be a disciple of Jesus, it means you have to take up the cross and follow Him.
Mar 8:34, “And He summoned the crowd with His disciples, and said to them: If anyone wishes to come after Me, he must deny himself, and take up his cross and follow Me.” To take up the cross means to deny oneself and suffer for the Lord. In conclusion, now that you know what it means to follow in His steps, do not fool yourself, and do not be fooled by seemingly pious talk of others. Follow Jesus in His steps by humility and obedience to the will of God.
Not too long ago, American pseudo-or-self-appointed religious leaders who claimed to be Christians posted the facetious question: “How would Jesus vote?” Now those who use the name of the Lord in vain post another question concerning American debt and deficits, “How would Jesus cut?” The name of Jesus is used in myriad ways to advance their political and financial interest. These people assume that Jesus is so interested in the power and money politics of America. Apparently they also assume what America does may affect the Kingdom of heaven. As to the first question, Jesus does not vote for corrupt and self-serving politicians, especially those who legalize same-sex marriage and support homosexuality. Jesus does not vote for anyone, period. Jesus does not and would not vote at all. It is on the borderline of blasphemy to suggest that Jesus would do certain thing and use the name of Jesus to advance their political views and interests.
Jhn 18:36, “Jesus answered: My Kingdom is not of this world. If My Kingdom were of this world, ... but now My Kingdom is not from here.” I believe no matter who he/she is, who puts a high premium on earthly things and demands Jesus involvement in dirty politics does not seem to have the mind of Christ, does not have the Sprit of Christ. For a few hundred years the American clergy and church leaders seem to make imperialism and capitalism compatible with Christianity. Many seem to make American values of money, power and sex compatible with the Christian values of faith, hope and love. These religious leaders seem to be so proud to have access to the White House, etc. because they are a source of large voting blocs. Christians should not follow false prophets and false teachers. Isn’t it strange none of these leaders dare to point out American power and money politics are corrupt politics. Politicians that serve special interests are not friends of democracy. Why do they flatter corrupt politicians and officials who are guilty of incurring the largest national debt and deficits in the world? Why do they support politicians that overwhelming majority of Americans do not have confidence? Why do they support the most costly and ineffective health-care system in the world as doctors and hospital owners and others defraud and gauge patients and they want Medicaid continue to pay those crooks at higher and higher cost? Why don’t they oppose same-sex marriage and homosexuality which God considers as abomination? Is it a fundamental moral measure to support unjust wars and have more than 700 overseas military bases around the world? Is it a fundamental moral measure to support women who had sex with men not their husbands and brought children into the world that the men would not support and the women could not support? Is it a fundamental moral measure that certain groups of people did irresponsible and immoral things and that American citizens have to support their way of life? Concerning Medicaid, please read the article on Health Care Terrorism. Is it a fundamental moral measure to have Affirmative Action to give special treatment and privileges only for a certain racial group of people? Since Johnson’s Great Society, the federal, state and local governments have spent more than $3 trillion to help the black, but why the black situation has not improved in terms of single-parent families, welfare population, prison population, gang violence and drug addict population, school dropout, etc.?
Jhn 12:5-6, “Why was this fragrant oil not sold for three hundred denarii and given to the poor? This he said, not that he cared for the poor, but because he was a thief, and had the money box; and he used to take what was put in it.”
Note: There are many thieves who hide behind the poor, not that they care for the poor. There are many thieves in religion, charity, foundation, education, institution, non-profit organization, etc. and these entities should be taxed.
10. You ought to obey God rather than men.
To follow in Jesus’ steps definitely means to obey God rather than men and to do the commandments of Jesus Christ.
January 19, 2017
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