Read: 1 John 2:3-11
This is how we know we are in [God]: The one who says he remains in him should walk as Jesus walked.
1 John 2:5b,6
Walking as Jesus Walked
In the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit. Amen.
The Bible tells us lots of things about Jesus. We know where Jesus was born and who his parents were. We know where he grew up and how his ministry first began when he was baptized. We know where Jesus preached and what he taught his disciples. We know about how he died on the cross, rose from the dead, and ascended into heaven. And we know that he’ll come back again someday.
Yes, we know lots of things about Jesus. But there are also some things about Jesus that we don’t know. We don’t know what Jesus looked like or what color his hair was. We don’t know whether he was tall or short, and we especially don’t know how he walked. So how can the apostle John tell us that “we should walk as Jesus walked”?
You’ve probably figured out by now that John doesn’t mean to physically walk like Jesus did. Instead, walking like Jesus means living in the same way that Jesus lived. It means learning as much as you can about what Jesus taught and putting that learning into practice every day. When what was important to Jesus is also important to you, then you’re walking as Jesus did.
In today’s Bible reading, John reminds us of one specific thing that was important to Jesus: that his disciples love one another. One of the last things Jesus told his disciples before he was crucified was to love one another. As one of Jesus’ disciples, John heard those words firsthand and wrote them down for us to hear too.
It’s not always easy to love people, though! What about the classmate you just don’t get along with? What about your brother or sister or friend when they say something mean about you? What about your parents when they scold you for doing something wrong? How is it possible to love everybody all of the time?
On your own, you can’t. With God’s help, you can. You can love other people because God loved you first. Even though we’re all sinners, God loved us anyway. He loved us enough to send Jesus as our Savior and rescue us from our sins. And because of that, you can love other people too—even people who are sometimes really hard to love.
No, we don’t know what Jesus looked like. But we do know how to walk like him: by loving everybody around us and reflecting the love God has shown to us.
Dear God, thank you for loving me even though I am a sinner. Help me to walk like you and love other people too. Amen.
The questions below are to help families discuss this devotion. The questions are divided by age group as suggestions, but anyone could reflect on any of the questions as they desire.
Questions for Younger Children
- Who are some people you especially love?
- Before any person loved you, who loved you first?
Questions for Elementary Age Children
- How are you able to love people even when they aren’t nice to you?
- Think of two ways you can show love to your parents, your brothers or sisters, or your friends?
Questions for Middle School and Above
- Can you think of a person in the Bible whom Jesus loved? How did he show love to that person?
- When what was important to Jesus is also important to you, then you’re walking as Jesus did. Discuss two things important to Jesus that you want to be important now to you.