There was no pretense about Jesus Christ. He lived with His sleeves rolled up, as a servant, doing the work of the kingdom.
In the Life of Christ (Matthew 20:25–28)
Jesus made it plain that He came not to lord it over people but to be a servant (Matthew 20:25–28). The ultimate expression of His service, of course, was His giving of His life to be a “ransom for many” (Mark 10:45). While we can’t duplicate that act, we can follow the second greatest example of service He left us—humbling himself to wash the feet of His disciples (John 13:1–5). When we perform similar acts of humility and service, we are showing signs of the life of Christ.
In the Lives of Christians (John 13:14)
The night He washed their feet, Jesus told His disciples that they ought to serve one another the way He was serving them (John 13:14)—another example of our being in the world to do what Jesus did. Jerry White has pointed out that it seems far more noble to us to be a servant of God than a servant of our fellow man.1 But the way we serve God is by serving others. To claim to be a servant of God but be unwilling to serve others is to betray the shallowness of our understanding.
OPEN HANDS—LIVING A GENEROUS LIFE
We can’t talk about Jesus without talking about giving—He who gave himself for the sins of the whole world.
In the Life of Christ (Galatians 1:4; 2:20)
In Galatians, Paul makes it clear that it was Jesus who “gave himself for our sins” (1:4) and who “loved [us] and gave himself for [us]” (2:20). It is consistent with the other paradoxes in Scripture that one of Christ’s signs of life was His death. His death was a sign of life because He died willingly so that others might live—laying down His life for others (John 15:13).
In the Lives of Christians (Acts 20:35)
If Jesus lived His life as a giver (and He did), then in order for us to manifest signs of His life in the world, we must do the same. The apostle Paul quoted words of Jesus that are not recorded in the four gospels: “It is more blessed to give than to receive” (Acts 20:35). That, of course, is contrary to the philosophy of this world that places a higher premium on receiving than on giving. Only those who have developed a lifestyle of giving know just how blessed the results of giving can be.
David Jeremiah, Signs of Life (Study Guide) (San Diego, CA: Thomas Nelson Publishers, 2007), 13–14.