Jesus - Our Perfect Model

W. Terry Varner
March 30, 2014

The Bible teaches that Jesus is our perfect model. “For to this you were called, because Christ also suffered for us, leaving us an example, that you should follow His steps” (1 Peter 2:21). The context of 1 Peter 2:21 deals with the early Christians suffering because of their faith and Jesus left them, and us, a perfect model of how to live when suffering. However, Jesus is also our perfect model in every area of life. He showed us how to live the Christian life so as to please God.

Jesus was Perfect Model of Character. Character involves the traits making a person and distinguishing one person from another. Character is what you are. In Philippians 2:5-11 Jesus is described as one who was a servant of God. “Philip. 2:7, emp. added). He “humbled Himself” (Philip. 2:8, emp. added). He was “obedient to the point of death” (Philip. 2:8, emp. added).

Descriptive of His character, Jesus never thought a wrong thought, never spoke a wrong word, never went to a wrong place, never performed a wrong act, never taught a wrong lesson, never manifested a wrong attitude, never compromised God’s truth, never failed to oppose wrong and uphold right, and never failed to use His opportunities to serve God by serving others. Jesus is described as one “who went about doing good” (Acts 10:38).

Jesus was the Perfect Model. Jesus is a model of holiness. He never sinned. The Scriptures say, “Be holy, for I am holy” (1 Peter 1:16).

When Jesus washed the feet of the disciples, He was a model of unselfishness, service, and humility (John 13:5-15) and said, “For I have given you an example, that you should do as I have done to you” (John 13:15, emp. added).

Jesus was a model of forgiving of others. On the cross, Jesus cried out, “Father, forgive them, for they know not what they do” (Luke 23:34, emp. added). He instructs us, “For if you forgive men their trespasses, your heavenly Father will also forgive you. But if you do not forgive men their trespasses, neither will your Father forgive your trespasses” (Matt. 6:14-15).

Jesus was a model of compassion and mercy. “But when He saw the multitudes, He was moved with compassion for them” (Matt. 9:36. emp. added). We are to be compassionate and merciful to others. “For judgment is without mercy to the one who has shown no mercy. Mercy triumphs over judgment” (James 2:13).

Jesus was a model for understanding the value of suffering. Reflect on the great suffering Jesus did in behalf of man and we can begin to understand the value of suffering in the “vale of soul-making.” Christians are “children, then heirs—heirs of God and joint heirs with Christ, if indeed we suffer with Him, that we may also be glorified together” (Rom. 8:17, emp. added).

Jesus is a model showing us how to fight the Devil. Matthew 4:1-11 records the temptations of Jesus by the Devil at the beginning of His ministry. Jesus did not give into temptation. The three temptations were successfully endured because He was dependent on God and His word. “No temptation has overtaken you except such as is common to man; but God is faithful, who will not allow you to be tempted beyond what you are able, but with the temptation will also make the way of escape, that you may be able to bear it” (1 Cor. 10:13).

May God help us to live as He lived. May we make Him our perfect model.