I’ve been told I look like Jesus dozens of times in my life. At face value, it’s something every Christ follower wants to hear. In my case, it tends to be because I happen to bear some physical resemble to some of the more famous paintings of Jesus. While hearing someone tell me I look like Jesus never gets old, what I truly long for is someone to tell me I look like Jesus based on how I live, not on how I look.
Every time someone tells me this it makes me stop and ponder if the way I am living my life is worthy of such a comment. It’s a question we would all do well to ask ourselves. Physical characteristics aside, do you look like Jesus?
While we have only a little control over our physical appearance, the way in which we conduct ourselves is entirely up to us. Looking like Jesus is a choice each of us can, and must, make every day. Jesus said if we would follow Him, we must pick up our cross to do so (Matthew 16:24). A cross is not an optional accessory. Once the Romans laid a cross on the back of someone, there was no going back. One couldn’t decide to carry it for a while and then set it down. There is no such thing as a cross of convenience. Once you take up your cross, the only time you can let it go is when you are crucified upon it. The cross is a death sentence for your current life.
Did you ever notice how Jesus spent any time He had to Himself? Every time we read of Him going off alone, He was spending time in prayer with His Father (Mark 1:35, Matthew 14:23, Luke 6:12, Luke 22:41). Do we look like Jesus when we are all alone? Do we honor and seek Him with our thoughts and actions in both public and private? Jesus was the ultimate model of consistency. There wasn’t a shred of duplicity in Him. He had one mission, one desire, and one goal. Nothing He did ever deviated from what He was sent to do. Do we live with this same focus and determination? Do we use our free time to converse with and worship Him, or do we fritter it away on selfish thoughts and desires?
What changes need to happen in your life to make it so others would say you look like Jesus? Are you still carrying the cross you took on when you surrendered your life to Christ? Do you use your alone time to draw closer to Him? And speaking of time, do you consistently use it to show love and compassion to others? Are you unafraid and unashamed to tell others about the sacrifice and character of God in your daily conversations? Finally, are you living on purpose and on mission every day of your life? These are the difficult questions every would-be disciple must ask themselves every day. How amazing would it be to be recognized as Jesus simply by the way we lived our lives? I can think of no higher honor in this life. Allow me to ask you the question I must constantly ask myself: Do you look like Jesus?