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Wednesday, December 11, 2019

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Jesus showed us by his example how real Christians should act

Jesus showed us by his example how real Christians should act

Did you ever wonder why we call Christ a King? Christ only admitted to being a king when Pilate asked him directly: “Are you the king of the Jews?” - Jesus replied, “You say so.”

After the crowds mocked Jesus, Pilate put the sign on his cross, “Jesus Christ, King of the Jews.”

Yet God always has the last say: In Matthew’s Gospel Jesus declares, “When the Son of God comes in his glory, he will sit on his royal throne as king, judging the world.”

Like all good kings, Christ showed us by what he did how we are to act as a Christian. For example, Christ made certain his followers had food to eat. After Jesus had preached and healed all day long, the crowd was hungry. Christ took five loaves of bread and two fish, blessed them, and fed the multitude.

For their spiritual hunger, Christ gave them bread for eternal life – his own flesh to eat, and his blood to drink. By his example, Christ the King is saying, this is how a faith-filled person acts. Follow my example. Feed those who are hungry.

Christ welcomed the stranger and cured the sick. The leper said to Jesus, “If you choose, you can make me clean.” Jesus said, “I do choose, be clean!” Jesus touched him, healed his leprosy.

By his actions, Jesus told us to be compassionate. This is how faith-filled people treat others, even the stranger, the alien and the outcast.

John Smallman tells us a story about what happened years ago in a mental institution outside of Boston. A young girl known as “Little Annie” was locked in a dungeon. Although this was a more enlightened institution for the mentally disturbed, the doctors felt the dungeon was the only place for someone so “hopelessly” insane. So they confined Little Annie to a small cage that had little light – and even less hope.

An elderly nurse nearing retirement felt there was hope for all God’s creatures, so she started taking her lunch into the dungeon, and eating it outside Little Annie’s cage. She felt she could express some love and hope to the little girl. In many ways, Little Annie was like an animal. Sometimes she would violently attack people. Other times, she would completely ignore them. When the elderly nurse started visiting her, Annie failed to recognize her presence.

One day, the elderly nurse brought some cookies along, and left them outside the cage. Little Annie gave no hint she knew they were there. However, when the nurse returned the next day, the cookies were gone. From then on, the nurse brought cookies whenever she visited. Soon, the doctors noticed a remarkable change in Annie.

After a time, they decided to move her upstairs. Finally, the day came when the doctors told this “hopeless case” she could return home. However, Little Annie didn’t wish to leave. She wanted to work with people who needed care and compassion. The elderly nurse’s love and care had encouraged Little Annie to want to help others.

Many years later, Queen Victoria was pinning England’s highest award on another woman, Helen Keller. The queen asked Helen how she accounted for her remarkable accomplishments in life despite being blind and deaf. Without a moment’s hesitation, Helen Keller said that she could have done nothing – except for her wonderful teacher, Anne Sullivan. Anne Sullivan was none other than “Little Annie.”

Anne Sullivan treated Helen Keller as one of God’s very special people. She loved her, disciplined her, prayed, played, pushed, and worked with her, until Helen Keller’s life became a beacon of encouragement to people all over the world. “Little Annie” was rescued by the care and encouragement of an elderly nurse, whose name we don’t even know.

Compassionate people go to heaven. When we give love, act with compassion, we are part of Jesus’ Kingdom.