The Perfect Example

July 23, 2014

“In this world we are like Jesus” – 1 John 4:17b

In teaching my son low post moves on the basketball court, I am continually reminded of what an imperfect model I am.

“Here’s the drop step, son. Just drop your lower foot, take one low power dribble and then jump strong toward the corner on the backboard and lay it off the glass”

“Look. I’ll show you.”

drop the foot. dribble. shoot…

clang! The ball bounces off the rim.

My son laughs.

“Is that how it’s done, Dad?”

With my face a shade redder I mutter something like, “Just do what I say and not what I do. The teaching is what I want you to focus on.”

And I get frustrated as I abide in that intersection where pride, embarrassment, frustration, and desire uneasily coexist.

I truly wish I was a better example as a teacher! I wish my walk could equal my talk!

And yet that’s one of the reasons I worship Jesus. He walked the walk and talked the talk. His teaching never conflicted with who he was and what he did.

He was the perfect example.

He was the perfect model for his pupils.

Then Levi held a great banquet for Jesus at his house, and a large crowd of tax collectors and others were eating with them. But the Pharisees and the teachers of the law who belonged to their sect complained to his disciples, “Why do you eat and drink with tax collectors and sinners?” Jesus answered them, “It is not the healthy who need a doctor, but the sick. I have not come to call the righteous, but sinners to repentance.” (Luke 5:28-31)

At Light and Life Goleta, we are known for a lunch we serve every week in Isla Vista with many of our houseless friends. It is a church picnic in fact. Many of our friends in the park and even our church members have criminal records and are registered sex offenders. They have difficulty getting housing, jobs, and staying away from drugs and alcohol.

Sometimes they smell.

But we believe among the “tax-collectors and sinners”, throughout the centuries and in every place, that Jesus is to be found.

In response to his detractors and distractors, Jesus basically asks, do you see what I am doing? Now you go and do the same. This is what I do and it is why I came.

Let’s be the ones that go and do likewise!