Imitation Irritation

Episode Theme

Image-Reflecting: Being an imitator.

Memory Verse

Ephesians 5:1

Follow God’s example, therefore as dearly loved children and walk in the way of love.

Have you ever imitated someone else?  Why did you do it?  Most people imitate others for one of two reasons:  either the imitator is making fun of someone else or else the imitator really wants to be more like someone else.  What does imitating have to do with being a Christian?  A lot!

The earliest Christians didn’t call themselves Christians.  They didn’t call themselves anything; they were too busy preaching about Jesus, being persecuted, and trying to take care of each other.  Where did the word Christian come from?  It came from some people in the town of Antioch who wanted to mock the people who actually believed in a risen Jesus so they called them Christians.  Christian comes from the Greek word Christ which comes from the Hebrew word Messiah which means anointed.  The Antioch people were mocking “Christians,” but the name stuck.

Several years later, the missionary named Paul was talking to King Agrippa about Jesus.  Agrippa said to Paul, “Do you think that in such a short amount of time you can persuade me to be a Christian?”  Paul replies, “Short time or long---I pray God that not only you but all who are listening to me…” (Acts 26: 28-29)  Even the apostle Peter used the word in one of his letters when he wrote:  If you suffer as a Christian, do not be ashamed, but praise God that you bear that name.” (1 Peter 4:16)

Why did the early Christians keep the name when it was supposed to be a put down?  Why do we keep the name today?  Two reasons:  Christian reminds us that Jesus is the Christ, the anointed one, the Messiah who brings us back to God his Father.  Christian also reminds us that not only do we believe in Jesus as our Savior, but that we belong to him!!

What’s the best way to live as a Christian?  Imitation!  Imitate Jesus.  Paul said, “Follow God’s example, therefore, as dearly beloved children and walk in the way of love.” (Ephesians 5:1).  Being a Christian means believing in, belonging to, and being like Jesus Christ!  What a great word Christian is!

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