If you were in a room with Jesus, how would you treat Him? How would you behave? Would you show Him respect, ignore Him, be kind, or speak crudely? How would you treat the other people in the room? Would you ignore their needs, lie to them, be cruel, or would you be kind and loving in order to please Christ?
If you were not a Believer then you wouldn’t care if Jesus was in the room, you would treat Him like you treated anyone else, and chances are that your motivations would be self-serving. You would be nice and thoughtful if it would make you look good. You would be cruel if people didn’t matter to you. You would be deceitful if it would protect you or help you. But Jesus’ presence wouldn’t matter, because to the unbeliever He is just another guy. And the unbeliever is still ruled by the flesh not the Spirit. Verses 1-4 read,
“If then you have been raised with Christ, seek the things that are above, where Christ is, seated at the right hand of God. 2 Set your minds on things that are above, not on things that are on earth. 3 For you have died, and your life is hidden with Christ in God. 4 When Christ who is your life appears, then you also will appear with him in glory.”
But you are a Believer. You are not the same as you were before you were saved. And you would likely go out of your way to serve Jesus, to be good to Him and to honor and respect Him. You don’t have your mind on yourself anymore. Life is not about making yourself happy or serving yourself in any way. The Christian’s mind and heart are on different things than that of the unbeliever. Of course we are still human and still struggle with the flesh but we are indwelled with The Spirit and being transformed to the image of Christ. Verses 5-10 read,
“Put to death therefore what is earthly in you: sexual immorality, impurity, passion, evil desire, and covetousness, which is idolatry. 6 On account of these the wrath of God is coming. 7 In these you too once walked, when you were living in them. 8 But now you must put them all away: anger, wrath, malice, slander, and obscene talk from your mouth. 9 Do not lie to one another, seeing that you have put off the old self with its practices 10 and have put on the new self, which is being renewed in knowledge after the image of its creator.”
Let’s return to the question, “If you were in a room with Jesus, how would you treat Him?” Well guess what! Every time you are gathered with your fellow believers, you are with Jesus. Whatever manner you choose to treat your brothers and sisters is the manner you have chosen to treat your Lord and Savior. Verse 11 says,
“Here there is not Greek and Jew, circumcised and uncircumcised, barbarian, Scythian, slave, free; but Christ is all, and in all.”
Christ is all, and in all. Jesus lives in you and He lives in other Christ followers. At salvation we were made new creations, covered in Jesus’ blood and seen as righteous by the Father. The Spirit is transforming each one of us to the image of Jesus. We manifest His traits as we mature, those traits are called the Fruit of the Spirit, meaning that our conformity to Jesus reveals itself by our actions and attitudes. So how are we supposed to treat one another? We are supposed to treat each other as if each one is Jesus and has Jesus within her. Verses 12-15 describe it this way,
“Put on then, as God's chosen ones, holy and beloved, compassionate hearts, kindness, humility, meekness, and patience, 13 bearing with one another and, if one has a complaint against another, forgiving each other; as the Lord has forgiven you, so you also must forgive. 14 And above all these put on love, which binds everything together in perfect harmony. 15 And let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, to which indeed you were called in one body. And be thankful.”
You have to choose to have these attitudes, yes the more mature you are the easier it becomes, but you won’t grow in Christ if you choose not to walk in Him and be led by the Spirit. Verse 12 says “Put on” these attitudes. It doesn’t say, just act whatever way is natural. No, we are to go out of the way to serve one another as if they are Jesus. And we are to be Jesus for one another. He is within us, His Word, His Spirit, and His wisdom are in us and we are meant to help each other. Verses 16-17 read,
“Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly, teaching and admonishing one another in all wisdom, singing psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, with thankfulness in your hearts to God. 17 And whatever you do, in word or deed, do everything in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him.”
What about the second question, what about the other people in the room, who are not Jesus. How do you treat them? Do you ignore them while you serve Jesus? If there are no other Christians in the room, you are still there and that means Jesus is there. God is in the room. He is with you. He will never leave you. So then don’t you choose to please God by loving the others as well?
Whatever relationships we have, we have to treat them with Jesus in mind, and that often means going against our flesh nature to do what the Spirit wants us to do. Women do not naturally submit. Submission is frightening for those who are more vulnerable. Yet wives are told to submit to their husbands. Men do not naturally put others first, they often prefer abruptness over gentleness, yet they are told to love their wives and not be harsh. Children are naturally rebellious but the Bible tells them to obey their parents in everything. Verses 22-25 read,
“Bondservants, obey in everything those who are your earthly masters, not by way of eye-service, as people-pleasers, but with sincerity of heart, fearing the Lord. 23 Whatever you do, work heartily, as for the Lord and not for men, 24 knowing that from the Lord you will receive the inheritance as your reward. You are serving the Lord Christ. 25 For the wrongdoer will be paid back for the wrong he has done, and there is no partiality.”
This isn’t just how we look at the employer/employee relationship, it is how we deal with all relationships. We have to treat them with love because Jesus is watching, because we are serving the Lord. Our entire lives are lived as worship and testimony to Christ. And if people treat us badly regardless of the love we show them, we know God will take care of it. Their sins will be paid for. That payment will come form their own blood or Jesus’ blood. Maybe your kindness and love glorifying Jesus will be the catalyst that makes them repent.
So think about your actions and attitudes. Think about how you would treat Jesus. Think about how Jesus wants you treat people.