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Imitating Jesus

by Oleg Kostyuk

Imitate me, just as I also imitate Christ (Paul in 1 Corinthians 11:1)

 

When I was thinking about this passage I discovered two interesting views of the imitating of Christ.

 

1. The Mount Athos is considered to be one of the most revered places by the Eastern Orthodox Church. The mount and peninsula in Macedonia, Greece is a home to 20 monasteries. It is a self-governed monastic state. The goal of monks, who live there, is to get closer to Christ every day and to be in total union with Him when they leave this world. Their believe can be expressed as the following: “Death is the ticket to the other life. Without this ticket you can't travel. But, you get the ticket in this life. Therefore, we ought to live Christ-like lives.”[1] The entire region is a secluded community in which the mundane is forgotten.

 

2. Ordering a few books from CBD, I came across an interesting book by Ed Dobson, The Year of Living Like Jesus.[2] The author of the book, a former pastor who was diagnosed with Lou Gehrig's Disease and has only a few years to live. He starts his book with the question that was bothering him “for years”. His son, when he was studying in Israel was asked a question by one of the rabbis: “How can you claim to take Jesus' teachings seriously when you spend so little time actually reading them? If you are a Christian and aren’t reading through the Gospels every week, then you are not a very Good Christian.”[3] So, Dobson’s plan was to read through the Gospels every week during his year of living like Jesus.

 

By the end of the first month of living like Christ he comes to a profound conclusion:

I began the month by honking at people who were too slow when the light turned green, and I’ve ended the month being proud of myself.

 

Not very Jesus-like![4]

Dobson did not go to Mount Athos, he did not start living as a monk. He wanted to live like Jesus here, among real people.

 

Is it possible to live like Jesus today? What does it mean to live like Jesus, anyway?

 

 

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[1] 'Mt. Athos', in 60 Minutes (New York, NY: CBS, 04/24/11).

 

 

 

 

 

 

[2] E.G. Dobson, The Year of Living Like Jesus: My Journey of Discovering What Jesus Would Really Do (Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan, 2009).

 

 

 

 

 

 

[3] E.G. Dobson, p. 15.

 

 

 

 

 

 

[4] E.G. Dobson, p. 36.

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