becoming more like Jesus

As trite as it may sound since we’ve heard it often enough at least in Christian circles, we in Jesus are meant to become more and more like him in this life. We know that in the life to come, we will indeed be like him when we see him as he is.  Which itself is called a purifying hope, by means of which we purify ourselves in this life.

To become more like Jesus is way beyond us, of course. We may have biblical concepts related to that down to some extent, but the application and outworking of them in our lives is really dependent on God to actually make this reality happen, through the Spirit.

Yet at the same time we are involved.

Therefore, my loved ones, just as you always obey me, not just when I am present but now even more while I am away, carry out your own salvation with fear and trembling. God is the one who enables you both to want and to actually live out his good purposes.

Philippians 2 (Common English Bible)

It seems like most of the time it is a trajectory upwards by faith, with its day to day challenges. But there are times when it seems like we have to take on more than we can bear. Like Jesus in the Garden of Gethsemane, who not only asked the disciples to watch and pray for him, but also for themselves. We have to come to terms with the new trial, and entrust ourselves into God’s hands. He is remaking us into no less than the image of his Son.

This is not only an individual endeavor, but a joint endeavor with others in Jesus. To become like Jesus is to learn to live well in community. It is “in Jesus” that we so learn to live, and “in Jesus” means not only in him, but with everyone else who is in him. Only then, as we so learn to live together, are we really beginning to live as his Body in the world. Only in that way do we grow up to be like him in God’s love, together.