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  • Writer's pictureJ.D. King

The Secret to Walking in Power




It may seem audacious, but Christians are indeed called to model their lives after Jesus. Ordinary individuals, like you and me, are invited to follow in the footsteps of the Son of Man—taking in the examples of how he walked the earth in the first century.


I've encountered resistance to this idea from multiple people. A close friend of mine once reacted strongly, saying, "Flawed humans could never approach Jesus' level. He's God and capable of things beyond our reach. Suggesting otherwise dishonors him."


I assured him I understood his concerns. I have no intention of diminishing Jesus. However, I believe people sometimes misconstrue things, emphasizing certain truths while neglecting others. Seeing Jesus as the perfect example of what a human being should do doesn’t diminish his strength or honor.


Scripture makes it clear that Jesus was and is God. He never abandoned his position in the Godhead. Nevertheless, the Bible is also clear that he took on human flesh as he entered the earth. The Son of God understood that the messianic role was predominantly a human endeavor, and he eagerly embraced the assignment.


As Jesus walked the streets of Galilee, he fully embraced his human nature, becoming an example for ordinary people on how to walk with and receive from the Heavenly Father (Phili 2:5-8).


One critic challenged, "If Jesus operated as a man, as you suggest, where did he derive his power and authority? His words and deeds could only stem from divinity. Your argument seems absurd, if not blasphemous."


I once again clarified that I do not seek to diminish Jesus' eternal deity. Nevertheless, we also shouldn’t muddle up the messianic role. Much of what Jesus did throughout the Gospels emerged from the power of the Holy Spirit coming upon him—as a man. He was, after all, the "Son of David"(Lk 18:13). We must not forget that the term "messiah," attributed to Jesus and David, literally means "the one anointed with oil to accomplish a divine task." Anointing and spiritual empowerment are often synonymous.


Although there are different dimensions and roles, we also mustn’t overlook the fact that Jesus is the “Last Adam” (1 Cor 15:22)—restoring what was lost in the Garden of Eden. This mission was not only about restoring humanity's relationship with God but also about reclaiming the earthly responsibilities that Adam relinquished. Through Jesus, men and women could once again become the image-bearers in the dirt and mire of creation (Gen 1:26; Rom 8:29; 2 Cor 3:18).


Here's the kicker: This vital mission had to transpire, at least in part, through Jesus’ humanity or the example wouldn’t be relevant. The writer of Hebrews says: "It was necessary for him to be made in every respect like us," and since he went "through suffering and testing, he is able to help us" (Heb 2:17, 18). Humanity desperately needed a savior—and to also see what a human being—rightly related to God—could do.


Although much more could be said, I find this passage from Luke 5 illuminating:


“Jesus often withdrew to lonely places and prayed. One day as he was teaching, Pharisees and teachers of the law, who had come from every village of Galilee and from Judea and Jerusalem, were sitting there. And the power of the Lord was present for him to heal the sick” (Luke 5:16-17).

This passage highlights that Jesus' private communion with God precedes his public manifestations of divine power. It was his heartfelt prayers in verse 16 that set the stage for the inexplicable display of the Holy Spirit to be made known in verse 17. There is a direct correlation between what happens in private and what transpires in public. Jesus shows us that everything in the Kingdom of God is rooted in intimacy. This is the only way to live and move.


Drawing lessons from the biblical examples, what should ordinary individuals do today? I believe Jesus' earthly actions provide a clear pathway. Like him, we should direct our hearts toward the Heavenly Father. As we do, wisdom, power, and authority are unleashed. Most of Jesus' miracles in the New Testament were preceded by him receiving the direct empowerment of the Holy Spirit. Sonship releases holiness and power.


As God Almighty, Jesus could have easily accessed this immense power directly, but instead, he leaned into his humanity. In doing so, he showed us what it would look like for a man to be anointed by the Holy Spirit. Jesus followed the leading of the Father, and we are supposed to follow him.. The Son of God declared:


"The words I speak are not my own, but my Father who lives in me does his work through me. Just believe that I am in the Father and the Father is in me. Or at least believe because of the work you have seen me do. I tell you the truth, anyone who believes in me will do the same works I have done" (John 14:10-12 NLT).

 

The mandate to replicate the attitude and actions of Jesus didn't end with the early disciples. Redeemed humanity is still called to emulate the Son of God. Though we are flawed and fallible, the perfect model persists even to this day.


Jesus is not only our Savior but also our ultimate example.




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