DTS Magazine

Achieving Our Highest Standard

There’s a question that always occurs to me as I read Jesus’s words in Matthew 10:25, a passage that has left a haunting ache in my heart from the first moment I read it. Christ tells His disciples, “It is enough for the disciple that he become like his teacher, and the slave like his master.” Did you hear it? Does it haunt you too? 

Wouldn’t it be enough if we could be just like Him? 

In context, Jesus is giving the disciples  instructions—preparing, encouraging, and commissioning—before sending them out to a hostile world to proclaim the nearness of the messianic kingdom. Christ knew His followers would face persecution, trials, and tribulations. “Don’t be afraid,” He comforted them, “you are worth more . . .” (Matt 10:31).

What a great thought! Especially in today’s adverse culture that rejects those who seek to be like Christ—selfless, loving, and merciful. 

Despite our culture, as believers, we should have the desire to grow in spiritual maturity and Christlikeness. At least, I hope we all do. We all want to become what we are in Christ—to put aside sin and unrighteousness and to replace them with patterns of holiness. Ultimately, we want to become like Christ, to think how He thought and to behave how He behaved. We should aspire to the highest standards of holiness and godliness.

Jesus says being like Him will be and is enough for us—it will completely satisfy us, give us peace and inner rest, bring soothing relief into our souls, and give us purpose.

But the flesh is always pushing, challenging, harassing us and trying to control us. It’s revealing when something unpleasant happens to us, and we end up showing our true inner personalities. Pride steps in and we struggle to keep it all under control and not give in to “fleshly” impulse that we later regret.

It’s so easy to let this happen; at times these actions seem like our natural impulses. Think about it. Sometimes it’s easier to filter out the evil in ourselves, and it’s easy to judge others and not see God’s goodness in them. Maybe we prefer superficiality because we are too concerned with others’ perceptions of us than the reality of our hearts. How about when we neglect others only to seek attention for ourselves?

Jesus said, “Whoever wants to be my disciple must deny themselves and take up their cross daily and follow me” (Luke 9:23). We need to let Him be the authoritative voice in life. Let His Spirit control. Only with His help can we escape from the powerful control of pride and we can practice “the fruit of the Spirit” which includes “love, joy, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control” (Gal 5:22–23). 

Jesus goes on to say, there will be no condemnation for those who walk in the Spirit and put into practice these “fruits.” Jesus says being like Him will be and is enough for us—it will completely satisfy us, give us peace and inner rest, bring soothing relief into our souls, and give us purpose. 

These blessings are what is promised to us from the one God designated to be our personal character trainer, Jesus. Trust Him. He is the One who offers us the way out of sin and protects us even from ourselves. He provides the bridge from living for ourselves to walking in His footsteps.

Mark L. Bailey
Dr. Bailey assumed the Seminary’s presidency after years of service as both a professor in the Bible Exposition department and as the Vice President for Academic Affairs. In addition to his years at Dallas Seminary, he has pastored various churches in Arizona and Texas. He was a seminar instructor for Walk Thru the Bible Ministries for twenty years and is in demand for Bible conferences and other preaching engagements. His overseas ministries have included Venezuela, Argentina, Hungary, and China. He is also a regular tour leader in Israel, Jordan, Egypt, Turkey, Greece, and Rome. His board service includes Bible Study Fellowship, Insight for Living, Jews for Jesus, and Walk Thru the Bible Ministries.
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