Janet and I were watching a recorded episode of Hawaii 5-0 on television and she noticed that one of the actors reminded her of my brother Doug. In fact, she was stunned at the resemblance, which I didn’t see at first. But the more I looked and studied the features of the person she identified, I really saw the similarities. Granted the hair color was different, but there was no denying that they had a strong resemblance to each other.
Normally, this wouldn’t be such a big thing to me, but earlier today, I was engaged in a conversation with another acquaintance of mine, and for the first time, I noticed that he looked like Jim Carrey, the actor who has starred in movies such as Ace Ventura, Bruce Almighty, Dumb and Dumber, and also The Majestic. In fact, I was afraid I was staring – the resemblance was so strong. So two in one day, what’s the chance of that.
As Janet and I were talking about these examples, she casually mentioned that “everyone has a doppelganger.” Now I have heard the word before, but it was years ago; and every once in a while Janet comes up with a word that really intrigues me. She was also the one who taught me the word “curmudgeon” – but if you don’t know that one, you’ll have to look it up……
Let’s face it – doppelganger is not a word that you would use every day – or every year for that matter. So I looked it up and found out that it is of German derivation, from the mid 19th century, and it means “a double, either an apparition or living person, bearing a strong resemblance to another.” Immediately, I knew that it had to be the topic of my post this evening. Why?
Because it seems to me that each of us, as Christians, is called to be a doppelganger. In other words, aren’t we, as followers of Jesus Christ, supposed to bear a strong resemblance to Him? In fact, I believe that the Scripture makes it quite clear that we are to emulate Christ. Maybe not in the physical sense, but certainly our behaviors and our attitudes toward others are to model a Christ-like behavior. Now I know that this doesn’t happen the moment we accept Christ as Lord and Savior, but as we progress in our faith, we are to become more sanctified as we develop a deeper relationship with Him.
And the more sanctified we are, the more we should try to be Christ-like in our daily lives. It is clear to me that the measure of our resemblance to Jesus centers on our ability to love one another well. In fact, Jesus tells us, in John 15:9-12, “As the Father has loved me, so have I loved you. Now remain in my love. If you obey my commands, you will remain in my love, just as I have obeyed my Father’s commands and remain in his love. I have told you this so that my joy may be in you and that your joy may be complete. My command is this: Love each other as I have loved you.” Several verses later, we are told a second time to “love one another as I have loved you.” In fact, we are told three times in this short section of John that we are to love each other well. And the model of behavior is the love that God displayed for His Son, Jesus, and the love that Jesus has shown to us.
Many theologians submit that the reason that God the Son became flesh was to give us a human model that we could try to emulate. Most of us would agree that a human Jesus is easier to understand than a God that we can’t see or touch. But make no mistake, God is capable of entering into relationship with us, and He chooses that course of action every time. The question is whether we care enough to want to enter into relationship with Him. And if so, how successful can we be at adopting Him as a role model? So, how are you doing in becoming a doppelganger?
My encouragement tonight is to let you know that with God’s help, you can become more like His Son. In fact, you can’t make the journey alone – you need God with you every step of the way – and that is my prayer for you this evening – that God will show you how to become more like Him – every step of the way. Grace and Peace,