Follow my example, as I follow the example of Christ. (1 Corinthians 11:1 NIV
Paul has followers as Jesus does (this theme recurs in 1 Corinthians – sometimes as positive instructions, sometimes as criticism). And specifically here the issue is example. The New Living Translation has “imitate me;” Amplified Bible has “‘pattern yourselves.”
The “as” suggests a comparison – Paul’s following of Jesus is the comparison for their following of Paul.
As a parent, I was often shocked to see how closely my children followed my example. It was almost to the point of mimicry at times. They did what I did – they said what I said. Now I catch myself phrasing things as my dad did or my mom does. I hear my children say things that sound just like me or like my wife.
Someone is following me… for good or ill. What I do matters as a follower of Jesus. And that is the point! I don’t have to set an example. I have to follow Jesus in such a way that when people imitate me they are imitating Jesus. When people find something praiseworthy it is something I have learned from Christ.
O Lord, someone is always watching me. Someone is looking to me – to all of us – for answers and guidance even when they do not ask but rather follow. May I so follow Christ that anyone who follows me is really following Jesus. May my example in every way that is good be an example of how Jesus lived and lives in me. In the name of the one I follow… Amen.