Because I’m the Doctor

Because I’m the Doctor

Jesus came from Galilee to the Jordan to John, to be baptized by him. Matthew 3:13

Most of us are pretty good at seeing the mistakes of others. As a physician, it’s no different. I’m quite capable of identifying the destructive behavior of patients. It’s easy to see when someone needs to lose weight, stop smoking, and exercise. It’s a little more difficult to have the conversation. You are overweight and it’s killing you. Eat a salad for goodness sake. Even more difficult than telling someone else how to live rightly though, is living rightly myself first. It’s more than a little hypocritical for me to tell a patient to stop their destructive behavior and then go to my office to eat a donut, while being overweight.

Most of us are adept at seeing the mess in the lives of those around us and it’s pretty easy to tell others what to do. If you would just do as I say, you would be so much less miserable. It requires little effort to tell others how to live rightly. It’s far more difficult though, to live by example.

In today’s passage, Jesus showed us how to lead. In the story, Jesus went to John the Baptist, who, living up to his name, baptized God’s followers as they repented. Jesus didn’t need to repent from anything – he was perfect – but because he expected his followers to be baptized, he submitted to the same practice and was baptized by John. Jesus taught humility, and led by example. I’m not just going to tell you how to live. I’m going to show you.

Because he was divine, Jesus had the right to do whatever he wanted. He could have lived like an earthly king, commanding his people, while lying on the couch eating grapes. He chose though, to live by example, embracing obedience and humility, while loving those around him.

If we desire to be disciples, obeying God and loving our neighbors, we would do well to follow Christ’s example. If we are going to help others find recovery, we must practice recovery ourselves. If we are going to help others eat well, we must eat well ourselves. If we are going to point others to God, we must daily follow him in our own lives. Like Christ, we must lead by example.

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