The Intensity of His Walk. Does Jesus expect us to follow his example in every respect?
Study and Discussion Questions
- In 1 John 2:6, the apostle tells us that we must walk as Jesus’ did. Does that include every aspect of his life? Some communions distinguish between a religious calling and a lay calling, with much higher intensity demanded of the religious. Is such a distinction biblical?
- What aspects of Jesus’ way do you find most challenging? Most troubling? Most attractive? The questions that follow identify some of the more notable aspects of his life. In each instance, the question can be posed: Is this an example for us? For some of us? For all of us?
- The Intensity of his early years: Luke 2
- Intensity of spiritual preparation: Luke 4:1, Matthew 4:1: 40 days in the wilderness
- His prayer life: Luke 6:12: all night; Mark 1:35: a great while before day.
- Passion for mission: John 4, the Samaritan woman
- A special problem: Jesus’ neglect of John the Baptist: Matthew 11:2-3. Why did Jesus seem to neglect the needs of John the Baptist? In what possible ways could this example be instructive for us today?
Comment: At least twice in her ministry, Ellen White drew a sharp contrast between her own calling to be more severe and God’s expectations of those without a special calling:
God has not given my brethren the work that He has given me. It has been urged that my manner of giving reproof in public has led others to be sharp and critical and severe. If so, they must settle that matter with the Lord. If others take a responsibility which God has not laid upon them; if they disregard the instructions He has given them again and again through the humble instrument of His choice, to be kind, patient, and forbearing, they alone must answer for the results. With a sorrow-burdened heart, I have performed my unpleasant duty to my dearest friends, not daring to please myself by withholding reproof, even from my husband; and I shall not be less faithful in warning others, whether they will hear or forbear. When I am speaking to the people I say much that I have not premeditated. The Spirit of the Lord frequently comes upon me. I seem to be carried out of, and away from, myself; the life and character of different persons are clearly presented before my mind. I see their errors and dangers, and feel compelled to speak of what is thus brought before me. I dare not resist the Spirit of God. (Testimonies 5:20 ; repeated in 5:677-78 )