Real or imitation (it’s not what you think)
I recently saw a TV commercial showing a young woman in a restaurant making multiple decisions while ordering her dessert. The waitress concludes by asking if she wants “oil…or cream” with her pie. The not-so-subtle message is that one of the options is real (cream) and the other is an imitation (made from vegetable oil). The advertiser is screaming, “Go for the real…nobody in their right mind would want the imitation!”
What you choose for your dessert topping is up to you. But as I read Acts 12 this week (in our Quiet Time Challenge), I was struck with the fact that the people in that chapter were the first ones who were called, “Christians.” It’s a word that means “little Christ.” Which got me thinking. These people were essentially being called an IMITATION of Christ. Something about them reminded people of the original…the REAL Christ.
When Jesus said, “follow me,” it wasn’t simply an invitation to go somewhere. It was an invitation to become something. To become LIKE him. A disciple was one who became LIKE his master. Jesus said as much in Luke 6:40:
But everyone who is fully trained will be like his teacher.
He doesn’t say a student would KNOW what his teacher knows. He says he would be LIKE him. An imitation.
Here’s the exciting part. In our search for the real, the authentic, the genuine…it turns out that someone with REAL faith in Jesus—a genuine, authentic follower of him—is actually an IMITATION. When you and I imitate Jesus in our lives…we’re as real as we can possibly be. You can actually be real, and be an imitation at the same time!
So what about you? Are you really imitating Jesus in your life? Would anyone say something about you reminds them of Jesus?
– Pastor Mark