“‘Becoming like Jesus’ is not merely adopting the moral
virtues we see in him, but sharing in his
completeness that produced them”
(Jim Palmer, Divine Nobodies).
Have you ever wanted to be like someone else? I have! As a child I wanted to be Superman. I fantasized with the thought of flying at the speed of light and saving the world from destruction. I could visualize myself doing everything Superman could and a little more…Unfortunately, I grew up, and with maturity, the realization that I could not conquer the law of gravity, much less save the world. With time, my imagination withered in view of my reality and forced me to give up my fantasy.
Similarly, when I gave my life to Jesus, I wanted to be like Him. I dreamt of walking on water, raising the dead and healing the sick. As I faced life’s challenges, I saw myself speaking to the wind and the seas and dreamt of multiplying the fish and the bread, even turning water into wine (convenient, right?). Unfortunately, I also matured (or so I thought!;) and was forced to face the “reality” that Jesus’ life was meant for the “afterlife.” On this one, I had to scratch a living any way I could. Hopefully, if I did good enough, Jesus would be next to me comforting me and giving me the strength to get up after life’s unmerciful beatings.
With time, my dreams of becoming like the Master faded in view of my lack of ability to reach beyond the natural domain, so I settled in waiting for the rapture. My greatest aspiration became the hope I could make it to Heaven; even if by the skin of my teeth.
Then the unexpected happened…!
I heard Jesus’ sweet voice speaking from my most inner being. What did He say? José, you are free!!!
His words filled me with joy and sent me on a journey to discover the far reaching boundaries of my freedom and abundance of God’s *Zoe Life IN me. Further, I was saved from my archenemy and killer of my dreams: Religion!
Once freed from its shackles, religion could no longer sustain the lie that I had to wait for the next life or a place called Heaven in the sky somewhere, to partake of the Zoe Life Christ had given me: Heaven on earth! I learned I could start living God’s Life here and now!
Furthermore, I discovered that I had been recreated into a new being: perfect, holy and blameless in God’s sight. I am a brand new being created IN the image and likeness of Christ. What’s more, Heaven had been shed abroad in my heart. BAM!!! Bye, bye bondage!
More recently, I learned that, just as Jesus was the brightness of His Father and the exact representation of His Person, I had been made the ever increasing brightness of Christ and the exact representation of His Being. I think of it as rain or a splash of water that splits into multiple size and shape drops. Though each individual drop is unique, they are all very much alike, as they all come from the same source and posses the same nature and molecular composition as its source. No one can tell one from another as one cannot tell from seawater collected in dropper and that spread within the expansion of the oceans.
(Photo by: Michael Pardo)
In like manner, we are all individually unique people born out of the same spiritual source: *Zoe-Life/Christ. Though we have distinct personalities, disparate characters and even contrasting values, we are all intrinsically alike. We all posses the same nature and the spiritual composition Christ. We posses His divine agape nature of joy, peace, patience, goodness, kindness, faithfulness, meekness, and temperance, in different shapes and development stages. Further, we are all filled with His Grace and Truth, yet we express Him in rather unique, personal and individual ways.
We were not meant to fit a rigid mold, a cookie-cutter, or a mass production followers created as robot-like beings, programed and micromanaged to follow sets of rules and Commands. We were not meant for following an institution’s cooked-up recipe from a “Book of morality.” The Book was meant to point-out to Jesus, so we could see the true resemblance of our new Lives and to announce that Grace & Truth resides In us and IS us; the hope of glory!
After all, aren’t we all supposed to be like Jesus here in this world? (1 John 4:17b).
*Zoe – Strong’s G2222 = Of the absolute fulness of life, both essential and ethical, which belongs to God, and through him both to the hypostatic “logos” and to Christ in whom the “logos” put on human nature.
In other words, the quality of life as possessed by the One who gives it. Our new recreated beings have essentially been “carved-out” out of the same source of the life source of Christ’s.