Jesus, Pioneer of Our Faith

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Jesus, Pioneer of Our Faith

Feb 20, 2022 | 0 comments

In Hebrews 12:2 we are encouraged to “fix our eyes on Jesus, the pioneer and perfecter of our faith” and to “consider him”.

So what is a pioneer? The dictionary refers to a pioneer as being “a person who is among the first to explore or settle a new country or area.”

Pioneers go first, they go ahead of others.

Jesus was the first to do things in a new way. 400 years after the last writings in the Old Testament Jesus comes to a nation living under the old covenant. He comes to a nation awaiting a Messiah who would come and fight for them. But Jesus comes and presents a gospel that is full of love and grace. A gospel that doesn’t abolish all the old laws but actually fulfills them and brings life. A gospel that is available to ALL people.

And so, in doing this, Jesus sets the example of how to live and proclaim this gospel, the Kingdom of God, to all around us.

In the book of Corinthians Paul tells us to:

“Be imitators of me, just as I also am of Christ”

1 Cor 11:1

We are called to follow and imitate Jesus. But we can look at Jesus’ example and think it’s unattainable. He is Emmanuel, God with us.

“For in Christ lives all the fullness of God in a human body”

Colossians 2:9

He was 100% God!

But he was also 100% man.

Jesus came, was born, he lived and then he died on the cross. He went to the grave and 3 days later rose again. These are the facts.

Though he was God,
    he did not think of equality with God
    as something to cling to.
Instead, he gave up his divine privileges;
    he took the humble position of a slave
    and was born as a human being.
When he appeared in human form,
    he humbled himself in obedience to God
    and died a criminal’s death on a cross.

Philipians 2:6-8 (NLT)

Jesus gave up his divine privileges. The English standard version says he “emptied himself”

He laid down his rights and his power to come and dwell among men. To live like us and to show us how to live.

And this is how we know we can imitate him – It IS possible.

He lived as a man, not as a God. He wasn’t a genie, he had no superpowers. He just lived as a simple man.

And when I understand this (not how it works – that boggles my mind) but when I read the four gospels and I understand that Jesus was 100% man I see an example to follow.

  • I see a man who enjoyed a good party and eating with people – at a wedding in Cana
  • I see a man who shared life with people.
  • I see a man who had close relationships and all the challenges that go with that. We read of his frustration and His disappointment when his disciples didn’t understand.
  • I see a man who was betrayed by those closest to him.
  • I see a man who was misunderstood by so many.
  • I see a man who wept when Lazarus died.
  • I see a man who was tempted in the desert – when he was hungry!
  • I see a man who got angry with injustice.
  • I see a man who is filled with compassion for the hungry and the hurting.
  • I see a man who preached good news to the poor.
  • I see a man who wrestled in the garden of Gethsemane with what he was called to do
  • I see a man who died a painful death so others may live.

I realise that he has been there. Jesus may not have had the exact circumstances but he’s been through all the emotions, the struggles, the temptations.

Now that we know what we have—Jesus, this great High Priest with ready access to God—let’s not let it slip through our fingers. We don’t have a priest who is out of touch with our reality. He’s been through weakness and testing, experienced it all—all but the sin. So let’s walk right up to him and get what he is so ready to give. Take the mercy, accept the help.

Hebrews 14-16 (MSG)

And so I wonder how did he do it, and as I look I see a man that was in full communion with the Father and moving in the power of the Holy Spirit.

This is the key for us. But we have to follow every example he gave, not just the “exciting” stuff.

Here are some of the things Jesus did to be in full communion with the Godhead

  • He spent time fasting. He spent time studying the word. He spent time in silence and solitude. He spent time in community. He practised sabbath and lived a simple life. He spent time at the temple worshipping with others. He spent time on the mountain top praying,
    • Jesus spent 30 years preparing himself for 3 years of ministry.
    • He went where the Holy Spirit moved him to go not where society told him to.
    • He lived a life of obedience and worship.

This is how he did it. This is how he lived his life.

So we should ask ourselves how do we want to live our lives?

  • Do we want to do the things that Jesus did?
  • Do we want to see God’s kingdom come on earth as it is in heaven?

If our answer is yes, then it’s not enough to long for the outworkings of what Jesus did – we have to give ourselves to the inworkings

  • The things that bring us closer to relationship with him –
  • It will require sacrifice, it will require change
  • But I believe it’s what we are called to as the church of Jesus Christ.

It is doable.
If Jesus did it so can I.

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