Be imitators of Jesus in doing good
Let us not become weary in doing good, for at the proper time we will reap a harvest if we do not give up. Therefore, as we have opportunity, let us do good to all people, especially to those who belong to the family of believers. (Galatians 6:9,10)
Peter M. Prange
Do you think Jesus has ever been tempted to quit his job as our Savior? Do you imagine he ever becomes fed up with our weaknesses? Would it be possible for him to ever become “weary in doing good”?
Jesus didn’t give up
Sometimes in the gospel accounts you can detect a tinge of frustration in Jesus’ words, even when—no, especially when!—he’s speaking with his closest disciples. For instance, when those disciples once attempted unsuccessfully to cast out a demon, our Savior exclaimed, “You unbelieving and perverse generation, how long shall I stay with you and put up with you?” (Luke 9:41). On the night Judas betrayed him, Peter denied him, and the rest abandoned him, Jesus questioned his snoring supporters indignantly, “Couldn’t you men keep watch with me for one hour?” (Matthew 26:40).
Already through the mouth of the prophet Isaiah, our Lord Jesus had vocalized how wearisome the object of his saving work would become. There he lamented, “I have labored in vain; I have spent my strength for nothing at all” (Isaiah 49:4). Do you think Jesus has ever been tempted to quit his job as our Savior? Certainly so!
Despite that frustration, however, Jesus has never given up. He’s never submitted his letter of resignation. He’s never stopped loving us, forgiving us, saving us, and carrying our burdens. Though tempted to do so, Jesus has never become weary in doing good.
What’s stopped him? First and foremost, his love for all people is so unfailing and so flawless. But he also knows that there is great, eternal reward in doing good to others, even if that reward isn’t immediately obvious. Jesus understood that, as his words through the prophet indicate: “Yet what is due me is in the LORD’s hand, and my reward is with my God” (Isaiah 49:4).
We should not become weary
Like Jesus, we’re often tempted to become weary in doing good. Unlike Jesus, we succumb to that temptation all too often and all too easily.
But consider what would happen if Jesus ever quit his job as our Savior and threw in the towel. We’d be finished immediately. Life would consist of nothing but death. Without Jesus working for our good, every blessing would instantly vanish. Thankfully, Jesus hasn’t and won’t become weary in doing good to us, and that’s a promise (Hebrews 13:5).
As his dear children, then, neither should we become weary in doing “good to all people, especially to those who belong to the family of believers.” True, our service to others might not have the same impact as Jesus’ work, but our Savior has called us to serve as his hands and feet, his mouth and eyes in the world. We are Jesus’ coworkers. Through us, he comforts others (2 Corinthians 1:3,4). Through us, he cares for others (2 Corinthians 9:10-15). Through us, he saves others through the gospel (1 Corinthians 9:22). Through us, he does good to others. What a thought! What a privilege! What a joy!
So be imitators of Jesus: Don’t become weary in doing good, “for at the proper time we will reap a harvest if we do not give up.” The fruits are eternal, both for us and for those we are called to serve.
Contributing editor Peter Prange is pastor at Bethany, Kenosha, Wisconsin.
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Author: Peter M. Prange
Volume 106, Number 9
Issue: September 2019
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