Summary: We know that we are supposed to walk like Christ but what does that really mean.
Walking as he walked
How many people here walk? We all walk, sometimes we walk short distances, sometimes we walk long distance but for the most part we all walk. It really isn’t rocket surgery. All you have to do is put one foot in front of the other. And in case you have problems with that I googled the word “Walking” and came up with 44,000,000 hits, knock your self out. One of the things that I tell people about the new church is “It’s close enough that I could walk, I won’t but I could”
In the scripture that Mike read this morning was the phrase 1 John 2:6 Those who say they live in God should live their lives as Christ did. Now listen to how the NIV says it 1 John 2:6 Whoever claims to live in Him must walk as Jesus walked. It’s one of those situations where the New Living Translation is a little clearer but the New International Version fits better with my message, so this morning we are looking at the topic walking as he walked.
This particular passage is found in the book of 1 John which is the 23rd book of the New Testament and was written by John. Which John? The same John who wrote the Gospel of John and that is John the Apostle. For once and evermore this book was not written by John the Baptist it was written by John the Apostle. John whose father was Zebedde, John who was a fishing partner with Peter, a brother to James and was sometimes referred to as one of the Sons of Thunder. The book was written toward the end of John’s life around A.D. 80, Peter has been crucified, Paul has been beheaded and John is writing as the last surviving Apostle. What was the purpose of this letter? It was written to the believers in the area of Ephesus, which if we pull down our trusty map is right here in the western part of modern day Turkey, to encourage and strengthen them. And as a part of his letter he tells the believers to walk as Jesus walked.
But what exactly does that mean? Does it mean to literally walk as Jesus walked? And if so what would that look like? If you walked like me you’d all walk like the Great A&W Root Bear. When we discovered that my Great Great Grand-Mother was first Nations I decided that my Indian name would be “Walks like Bear.”
Well we can probably safely assume that John was not telling us to physically walk in the same manner as Jesus did, even if we knew how Jesus walked. Instead it is a metaphor for Jesus’ life style how he lived in relation to God and how he lived in relation to other people. And so we aren’t just supposed to listen to the words of Christ, we also need to look at how he lived. In other words it’s not enough to hear Jesus talk the talk we need to also see how he walks the walk and make sure as well that there are no inconsistencies with him also walking the talk and talking the walk you still with me?
Sometimes it’s easy to say one thing but living it isn’t always as easy, for example. (Video clip Family Outing) The problem with that video is that it hits way too close to home to be comfortable.
So, the question is this if we walk as Jesus walked where is it going to take us? Well I guess the answer is that it’s going to take us the same place it took Jesus. I’m sure you all heard the joke about the young fellow who wanted to borrow the car and his dad said “you can have the car when you get a haircut” to which the son replied “But Jesus had long hair” “Yes” said his father “and he walked everywhere he went.”
In 1896 a Youth Leader by the name of Charles Sheldon wrote a story as a lesson for his youth group which he read to his group as he wrote it, a chapter each week. The premise of the story was that the people of The First Church of Raymond decided they would ask the question “What would Jesus do” before they made any major decisions in their lives. The book chronicles the change and impact that was made in their lives, work, church and town as a result of their decision. A few years ago the message of the book had a bit of comeback and we saw the letters WWJD displayed on clothes, bracelets and bumper stickers.
The reality is that we are called to simply do it not to simply say it. Benjamin Franklin wrote “Well done, is better than well said.” And Jesus closest friend wrote in 1 Peter 2:21 Christ, who suffered for you, is your example. Follow in his steps. So let’s see where Jesus’ steps led him and consequently lead us. Now it’s easy to put our own spin on what we think Jesus would do, how he would walk and where his steps would lead. It was only a couple of weeks ago in the senate chambers that – Senator Marilyn Trenholme Counsell, a liberal senator from New Brunswick, made the astonishing claim that Jesus Christ would have voted in favour of the Same Sex Marriage as she did. “As a Christian, I often ask myself ‘what would Jesus do?’” she said, reiterating a maxim often heard in Christian circles. She answered her question with, “In this case, in this time, I believe he would say yes.”