Extreme Makeover: Spiritual Edition

All of you are familiar with the phrase “Extreme Makeover.” It started with personal makeovers—a little nip here, a little tuck there, some minor (or sometimes major) surgery and dental work and, “Walla,” a new person. Then the home edition was introduced. A home in shambles receives a makeover and becomes the dream house of everyone in the family. We actually had one of these home edition makeovers in my home town.

Amazingly enough, the Lord has an extreme makeover for you, one that has eternal implications. He tells you what it is in Romans 8:29, For those God foreknew he also predestined to be conformed to the likeness of his Son. Before the world was even created, God had a plan to do an extreme makeover on you—to make you like Jesus. But what does that look like in practical, everyday terms?  Matthew 9:35-38 highlights four things that are true of Jesus that the Lord wants to build into your life. As He builds these things into your life, that extreme makeover will begin to take shape.

  • Do as Jesus Did (Verse 35)

Jesus is described in this verse as teaching in synagogues, preaching the good news of the kingdom and healing every disease and sickness. Am I saying you should do those things?  No. Jesus’ calling in the kingdom of God was to do those things as the king of that kingdom. Your calling is not the same, but you do have a calling. Another way of saying “do as Jesus did” is to say “fulfill your calling in the kingdom of God.” Since you are a unique creation of God, you have a one-of-a-kind kingdom calling, a calling that only you can fulfill. Your extreme makeover includes doing as Jesus did.

  • See as Jesus Saw (Verse 36)

We often let ourselves be fooled by the façade that people erect around their lives as a show of having it all together. However, Jesus saw through these kinds of things and characterized people as “harassed and helpless” and “sheep without a shepherd,” people experiencing pain, with no direction in life. Jesus recognized the suffering and burdens which people experienced under the onslaught of sin and its consequences. You need to develop “people eyes” that see through the facades. That ability comes by seeing people through the eyes of Jesus, to see as Jesus saw, the second aspect of your extreme makeover.

  • Feel as Jesus Felt (Verse 36)

Because Jesus saw people in their true condition, as people whose lives were being ravaged by sin, compassion swelled in his heart for them. He felt deeply for them and with them. A heart in tune with the heart of Christ will be a heart of compassion. How do you develop compassion? Compassion develops through contact with people at their point of need. It does not develop in a classroom, a seminar or sitting in church. It grows from and results in involvement. Feeling as Jesus felt is part of your extreme makeover.

  • Pray as Jesus Prayed (Verses 37-38)

When Jesus saw people in their true condition and had compassion for them, his response was to call for prayer for workers to reach them. Certainly He prayed this Himself. But here He calls his disciples to pray for God-sent laborers to enter the harvest field. Part of your extreme makeover is to pray as Jesus calls you to pray in this passage.

But let’s be honest. You and I simply don’t have what it takes to live like Jesus. We know we will fail before we begin. Only Jesus can live like Jesus. That’s the beauty of the verse I want to close with—Galatians 2:20: I have been crucified with Christ and I no longer live, but Christ lives in me. The life I live in the body, I live by faith in the Son of God who loved me and gave himself for me. You don’t have in you what it takes to live like Jesus but you do have Jesus in you to live like Jesus through you. As He lives His life in you, there will be an extreme makeover: spiritual edition. It will add glory to the grind.

Which of these four things do you desire the Lord to build into your life this year?



About Dr. John H. Harbison

Son of God, Husband, Father, Author of "Keeping Christ in Ministry,"Vice-President for Academic Affairs, College Pastor, Runner, Writer
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