Let Others See Jesus in You

Members of the church in Thessalonia were complimented as being “examples.” Another translation renders the word more exactly as “ensamples.” 

Ensample is a word that is more easily described than defined. Consider a plate of malleable wax. Make a fist and strike the wax. When the fist is removed, what is left is an ensample of the fist, a likeness of the fist.

That graphic depicts what an encounter of Jesus with us should result in, a likeness to Him. How distinct is His likeness in you?

We sing, or used to sing before contemporary music became the norm, “Let others see Jesus in you.” That is not just good music, it is an admirable lifestyle for a believer. 

There could be no better illustration of being an example than the fact that “Christ suffered for you, leaving you an example, that you should follow in his steps.” (1 Peter 2:21)

Albert Schweitzer, the French theologian, philosopher and physician said, “Example is not the main thing in influencing others – it is the only thing. More depends on our walk than on our talk, what we practice than what we profess, what we do than what we say.”

A tremendous amount of learning happens through this process of watching and imitating others. In psychology, this is known as observational learning. Keep in mind you are an observational teacher. People learn from your example. 

Most of our learning is visual. Eighty-nine percent of what people learn comes through visual stimulation; ten per cent through audible stimulation. 

“How To” videos on YouTube.com are much more popular than mere instructional text.

The first century was a visual learning culture that could easily understand the appeal to “… let your light shine before others, that they may see your good deeds and glorify your Father in heaven.” (Matthew 5:16)

We are instructed to “Follow God’s example, therefore, as dearly loved children and walk in the way of love, just as Christ loved us and gave himself up for us as a fragrant offering and sacrifice to God.” (Ephesians 5:1-2)

“In everything set them an example by doing what is good.”  (Titus 2:7)

None of this is to diminish the value of speaking truth. It is not an issue of either or, but both and. Vocal sharing fills in the blanks left in living the gospel. Therefore. “…whatever you do in word or deed, do all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through Him.” (Colossians 3:17)

Edgar Guest in his poem “Sermons We See” codifies the principle this way:

“I’d rather see a sermon than hear one any day; 
I’d rather one should walk with me than merely tell the way. 
The eye’s a better pupil and more willing than the ear, 
Fine counsel is confusing, but example’s always clear….”