Much has been made lately of the phrase “living incarnationally.” The bedrock passage is John 14:12, where Jesus told us, “Very truly I tell you, whoever believes in me will do the works I have been doing, and they will do even greater things than these, because I am going to the Father.” We are to do the works that Jesus did. Jesus became incarnate to show us the kingdom of God; he lived on earth in a way that showed us what God is like. In the same way, we are to live in such a way as to show others what God is like. We to live incarnationally—living as Jesus did.

Although a simple and accurate definition “live incarnationally,” it begs several important questions. How did Jesus actually live? What did he actually do? Which specific actions of his are we to imitate? What would those actions look like in our own very different cultural context? Given that we are not God, how can we really live like Jesus lived? In short, when we say we are to live incarnationally, what does that actually end up looking like in the real world?

So I undertook a study to look through the gospels with an eye toward what Jesus actually did during his time on earth. I wrote down the actions I saw Jesus taking and ended up with quite a list. For the rest of this week I’m going to process through some of what I noticed. You’re welcome to take part in this study as well—take a look through the gospels and write down what you see. What stands out to you? What themes do you see? It’s fine if you are picking up on different things than I am.