Charles Barkley got a lot of flack back in the early 90’s when he boldly declared he wasn’t a role model for kids.
“I’m paid to wreak havoc on the basketball court.”
(And on the English language, Sir Charles. Don’t forget the English language).
So would it shock you if I insinuated that Jesus might be telling you the exact same thing? Of course I’m overstating to make a point (sort of).
Jesus undoubtedly said…
Look to me.
Learn from me.
I am the way.
He certainly came to show us what perfection looks like. But to focus on Jesus solely as a model for righteousness has the potential of distracting us from the life-changing truth that He also wants to become our righteousness.
Did you catch that?
The standard Jesus set with His life is meant to challenge us. Inspire us. Call us to something greater. But it’s also meant to crush us. To up the ante. To destroy any notion that we are capable of achieving the holiness and perfection He models (and God requires) on our own.
“I tried keeping rules and working my head off to please God, and it didn’t work. So I quit being a “law man” so that I could be God’s man. Christ’s life showed me how, AND ENABLED ME TO DO IT.”
–Galatians 2:19 MSG
Jesus lived perfection, to model perfection, to become our perfection. Jesus is not (just) your role model. He is the source of the Christian life itself. And that, my friends, is some seriously Good News.