by Mario Vega
Christianity is not only about conveying concepts and principles; Christianity is a lifestyle. It is not only about what people know or think but it is mostly about how people live their lives. Ideas can be transmitted through books or lectures, but lives can only be modeled with examples.
That is the reason why Jesus not only taught, but shared his entire life with his apostles. Those who were chosen to be His disciples were invited to live with Jesus. It was in that daily living that they began to understand what Jesus wanted to convey. These were not only conceptual teachings but also occasions when the character of Christianity became evident. For example, Jesus forgave sins and didn’t require that people go to the temple and offer a sacrifice. He touched a leper; he spoke alone with a woman (who was also a Samaritan woman and lived an immoral life); he ate with sinners; he received children. It was impossible to transmit the teachings of those gestures and lifestyle examples through a lecture. But an action was more powerful than a thousand words.
When Christ’s disciples continued his work, they also followed the model of his master. Barnabas modeled for Paul; Paul modeled for Timothy; Aquila and Priscilla modeled for Apollos, and so forth. Since then, being a disciple of Jesus is only achieved by following and imitating the Master. Yet, how do we follow the Master? Yes, Christ’s teachings are in the Bible, but we also need to see Jesus in other people and allow their lives to impact us. A new generation of Christians will only be possible when the current ones show with their lives what faith means in practical terms. Those acts of kindness, forgiveness and mercy are the ones that make people different. Those actions will say much more than words.