There’s an engineering principle that can be observed in everything around us - - “form follows function.” What that means is that an object is shaped a certain way because of what it is supposed to do. Birds have very light bones and long tapered wings covered with feathers so that they can fly. They were engineered by God for flight. Elephants, by design, are massive, strong, heavy... and do not fly!
Because purpose and form are linked, it is usually possible to determine one from the other. In other words, by observing the look of something we determine it’s purpose and if you know what the purpose is, you can predict the form that it will have.
What traits would we expect in the family of Jesus? (Mat. 12:50) “For whoever does the will of My Father in heaven is My brother and sister and mother.”
Most religious debates over doctrine could be sorted out quickly. (Mat. 21:25) “ The baptism of John; where was it from? From heaven or from men?’ And they reasoned among themselves, saying, ‘If we say, “From heaven,” He will say to us, “Why then did you not believe him?”‘” If a doctrine is created by men it is without the authority of God, but if it is from heaven then why don’t we believe it and therefore follow it?
What did Jesus say was the sustenance and drive of His life? (Jn. 4:34) “Jesus said to them, ‘My food is to do the will of Him who sent Me, and to finish His work.’“
Why did Jesus do the things He did? (Jn. 5:30) “I can of Myself do nothing ... I do not seek My own will but the will of the Father who sent Me.” (Jn. 6:38) “For I have come down from heaven, not to do My own will, but the will of Him who sent Me.”
Jesus lived the way He did because He was doing the will of God. Paul lived the way he did because he was imitating Jesus (1 Cor. 11:1). To imitate means to have the same actions, appearance and qualities.
How should we live and look? (1 Jn 2:3-6) “Now by this we know that we know Him, if we keep His commandments. He who says, ‘I know Him,’ and does not keep His commandments, is a liar, and the truth is not in him. 6 He who says he abides in Him ought himself also to walk just as He walked.”
When we “know” the Lord we will keep His commandments. When we keep His commandments we will not only LOOK like His family, we will BE His family, because form follows function. When we truly imitate Jesus we will be in the form God designed for us.
- Tim Orbison