To Imitate someone is to model or pattern your life so it mirrors theirs. Some feel it is the highest form of flattery. To impersonate someone actually requires you pretend to be that person. That isn’t always so flattering especially if SNL gets a hold of your character!
Have you ever considered impersonating Christ could do more harm than good – even as a Christian?
When Jesus claimed to be God in the flesh, the Pharisees and Sadducees all screamed in unison “IMPOSTER!” Jesus didn’t impersonate God, He was God – and He proved it. He performed miracles, healed the sick, cast out demons, gave people hope and new life – and perfectly reflected the LOVE of the Father.
But what about us? Do we try to show the lost and dying world who Jesus is by impersonating Him? It wont work. They see right through us. From a mile away they can tell we aren’t the real thing. What gives us away so easily? Our Sin.
Even the Apostles dared not pretend to be Jesus. They knew better. “Be imitators of me, Just as I also am of Christ.” (1 Cor. 11:1)
Every Christian, should ultimately be pointing the world to Jesus – not to themselves.
Sure, our goal is that our lives so closely mirror His we could invite others to imitate us, but when it’s not we must always be willing to take a sober look at our faults and failures and admit when they don’t match up. That means churches, families, and marriages come to a common ground agreeing with Paul we are each the “Chief of all sinners.” (1Tim. 1:15)
This is so crucial because if we don’t say this, the world begins to see Jesus in a skewed light because of our sin. Our impersonations of Jesus even on our best day still cast a negative light on His perfect character.
Impersonating Jesus is serious business sometimes with devastating results.
Every Christian is an imposter if they’re claiming God – status. Not many of us would do that outright. But we do it subtly when we allow (or even encourage) others to be in unhealthy positions of complete dependence on us. Let’s be careful not to impersonate God to the world, our children or to our spouse.
- Don’t try be “God” to your children. You want them to know and obey their perfect heavenly Father who loves them so much more than you ever could and will long after your gone.
- The view of subservient roles of wives in Ephesians 5:22-23 put husbands in the place of God, telling wives literally they are to obey without question. We must understand the role of “headship”. Husbands are to be like Christ- not Christ. Just how are they to be like Christ? Not by ruling over wives like some harsh dictator but sacrificially denying themselves, dying to selfishness, and placing the wives needs and feelings above their own.
- The seven sons of Sceva tried impersonating Jesus once – I imagine only once. They were trying to cast out a demon one day and it backfired. The demon refused to come out saying, “Jesus I know, and Paul I know about, but who are you?” (Acts. 19:15-16) they were left badly beaten, naked and bleeding. Ouch.
- The greatest imposter of all will be satan himself. “He will oppose and will exalt himself over everything that is called God or is worshipped, so that he sets himself up in God’s temple, proclaiming himself to be God. (2 Thessalonians 2:4)
The reality is we can’t even try to imitate Jesus well if we don’t know Him personally. We’ve got to be in His Word to do that. How else do we know His heart and emulate it? But even then…
We are poor imitator some days.
Our only hope is that the Holy Spirit Himself would In-Personate us making us more like Him in everyday.
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