In the Adult Bible Fellowship class that I teach on Sundays at our church we’re in a series of lessons titled Walking Like Jesus Walked. The idea is that as Christians, if we’re really going to claim the name we need to walk the walk.
As I was preparing my lessons it dawned on me that before we can walk like Jesus walked we have to think like Jesus thought. Our actions come out of our thought processes. What we do is birthed in a thought – no matter how fleeting or inadvertent the thought is.
The section of scripture that I am teaching is Matthew chapters 5-7 or what we normally refer to as the Sermon on the Mount. While this section is undoubtedly Jewish in nature and an argument can be made that it relates specifically to the Millennial Kingdom time period, it seems reasonable to argue that if Jesus expected these characteristics (poor in spirit, meek etc) of His followers at any time period in history then He expects them for all of His followers at every time period in history. And if we are going to walk like Jesus walked this is how to do it.
But what about thinking like Jesus thought? The more I reflected on it, the more it became apparent that this same passage gives us some great insights into the thought patterns of the Son of God. We can discover how Jesus thought by studying His teachings and the Sermon on the Mount is one of the great sources for His teaching.
Let me give you one example. When Jesus said blessed are the peacemakers for they shall be called the sons of God (Matthew 5:9), He is showing us just how important the concept of peace is in the mind of God. Too often this statement is used in the context of war; equivalent to pacifist. But its primary application is not to nations but to people and how we are to live our lives every day. We are to be people who make peace.
The word for peacemakers is only used here in the New Testament. It has the idea of action, doing something (making peace), even of committing our lives to something (peace). God wants His people to commit their lives to living in peace. Peace in their life. Peace in their home. Peace in their relationships. Peace in how they think. Peace in how they speak. Even peace in how they drive! Peace is to be a dominate attribute in our lives because it is dominate in the heart of God. Five times in the New Testament God is referred to as the God of peace. That’s just who He is and it’s who He wants us to be. The words Christian and peacemaker are to be synonymous.
One last thought. Living in peace sometimes depends on other people. That is, it is possible for someone to rob you of your peace. God saw that coming so He told us how to handle it. If it is possible, as much as depends on you, live peaceably with all men (Romans 12:18). God is not going to hold you accountable when someone else destroys your peace. You just have to do everything you can to make peace. You have to be committed to peace.
When our thoughts and actions are dominated by peace so that people know us as people of peace then we will be known as sons and daughters of God.
Now the God of peace be with you all. (Romans 15:33).
Stay in the Word