The Exegetical Systematician: WWJD Circa 1955

The relevance to us of our Lord’s example has to be strictly guarded just as likeness to God has to be guarded. If this is not done we fall into the same error of failure to distinguish between the respects in which the attempt at likeness would be iniquity and the respects in which likeness is required. There are respects in which we may not and could not make our Lord’s conduct an example for us. His identity as God-man was unique. His offices and prerogatives were unique. His task as Saviour was unique. The faith he demanded in himself, and the obedience he claimed from his disciples, were such as belong to none else. So the application to ourselves requires radical differentiation. In other words, the example that our Lord supplies is severely restricted by reason of the uniqueness that pertained to him in respect of his person, office, commission, prerogative, and task. It is scarcely necessary to observe how glib and superficial is the ethic that is content to say: What would Jesus do? —John Murray, The Christian Ethic

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