The Public Life of Our Lord -- By: Tom V. Taylor

Journal: Emmaus Journal
Volume: EMJ 16:2 (Winter 2007)
Article: The Public Life of Our Lord
Author: Tom V. Taylor

The Public Life of Our Lord

Tom V. Taylor1


First Peter 2:21 tells us that Christ is our example, that we might follow in his steps. Sheldon’s book “In His Steps” was a pioneering study in this material and, while not so conclusive as one might have wished, promoted an ideal that is biblical in the specific concept. In the light of this passage the life of the Lord becomes a pattern for us in honest ways. Our previous study attempted to survey the Lord’s emotional life as a guide to our feelings and emotional expressions.2 This study continues with a look at our Lord’s public life—a perfect life lived that we might have a perfect example to aid in our own ways of public life. The Lord walked among the populace benefiting others and demonstrating holiness, not in a showy or boisterous way, but in a conduct that was impeccable (Acts 10:38).

This study visualizes three aspects of his public life. Each is distinct, but together they show the fullness of his life as a public figure. We refer to:

  • His Social Life
  • His Political Life
  • His Religious Life

These aspects of his life were visible to the public, known to the citizenry, and remain exemplary for us as followers of the Son of God. This article will attempt to treat these aspects as they are observed in the New Testament.

The Lord’s Social Life

Christ’s social life is summarily noted by Luke in Luke 2:52: “And Jesus increased in wisdom and stature and in favor with God and man.” The note in Acts 10:38 that he “went about doing good” shows us that he was a “people oriented” Savior whom we find ministering to both the masses and individuals. He was executing a divine commitment as a commissioned person! To see his social life in a fuller perspective, we may study the following categories that show his performance as a public figure:

  1. Personal friendships
  2. Social occasions: weddings, formal invitations
  3. Casual visitations
  4. Responses to calls for needs
  5. Teaching sessions

In reality, each of these categories might be developed into its own book! This short essay cannot cope with all the information supplied in the Gospels, but enough is easily gleaned to justify the point that our Lord lived publicly and in that role showed the grace and goodness of God to the people ...

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