“Wist ye not that I must be about my Father’s business?” Luke 2:49
Suggested Further Reading: Ephesians 4:32-5: 10
You never find Christ doing a thing which you may not imitate. You would scarcely think it necessary that he should be baptised; but lo, he goes to Jordan’s stream and dives beneath the wave, that he may be buried in baptism unto death, and may rise again—though he needed not to rise—into newness of life. You see him healing the sick to teach us benevolence; rebuking hypocrisy to teach us boldness; enduring temptation to teach us hardness, wherewith, as good soldiers of Christ, we ought to war a good warfare. You see him forgiving his enemies to teach us the grace of meekness and of forbearance; you behold him giving up his very life to teach us how we should surrender ourselves to God, and give up ourselves for the good of others. Put Christ at the wedding; you may imitate him. Yes, sirs, and you might imitate him, if you could, in turning water into wine, without a sin. Put Christ at a funeral; you may imitate him—“Jesus wept.” Put him on the mountain top; he shall be there in prayer alone, and you may imitate him. Put him in the crowd; he shall speak so, that if you could speak like him you should speak well. Put him with enemies; he shall so confound them, that he shall be a model for you to copy. Put him with friends, and he shall be a “friend that sticketh closer than a brother,” worthy of your imitation. Exalt him, cry hosanna, and you shall see him riding upon a “colt, the foal of an ass,” meek and lowly. Despise and spit upon him; you shall see him bearing disgrace and contempt with the same evenness of spirit which characterised him when he was exalted in the eye of the world. Everywhere you may imitate Christ.
Sermon no. 122
15 March (1857)