Faith and Family

Lynn Jones: Living like Jesus

By Lynn Jones

Missionary E. Stanley Jones once asked Mahatma Gandhi how Christianity could be more acceptable in India. Gandhi responded, “I would suggest, first, that all of you Christians begin to live more like Jesus Christ.” 

Lynn Jones

That is the great need and the great challenge for all Christians—to live more like Jesus. No one does it perfectly, but some do it better than others. Let me tell you about one who did it better.

When our son was young, we lived in Springhill, Louisiana, where I served as pastor of Central Baptist Church. Some of our son Blake’s closest friends were the Nash boys. There were four of them. One of the highlights of Blake’s life was going around the corner to visit the Nash boys. Riding herd over the Nash boys and their visitors were their parents, Jerry and Kathy. Kathy took charge while they were inside, and Jerry took charge while they were outside. 

Mr. Jerry Nash was always playing ball with the boys and figuring out acceptable ways for them to expend their boundless energy. When we started a basketball team for the little guys at church, we asked Jerry to be their coach. Under his patient and gentle leadership, the boys learned a lot about basketball and other important things that they saw modeled in Jerry’s life..

During this time, we had a supper for the men and boys at the church and invited Roger Carr to speak. Roger was a former NFL player who had played receiver for the Colts. After his playing career was over, he came back to his alma mater, Louisiana Tech, to coach. 

When he spoke at our church, at one point Roger asked all the small boys to come forward. He said that he wanted to talk to them about a special friend. This was the best friend that they could ever have. He asked the boys if they would like to guess who that friend was. No one said a word, so Roger pushed ahead. He said, “Let me give you a couple of hints. His name has five letters in it, and it begins with a ‘J’.” One of the boys held up his hand, and when Roger called on him, he said, “Jerry, Mr. Jerry Nash!” Roger had been expecting someone to say “Jesus,” but instead he got “Jerry, Mr. Jerry Nash.”

I didn’t know whether to be embarrassed by that answer or proud. It was kind of embarrassing that the boys from our church didn’t answer “Jesus”. But on the other hand, I couldn’t help but feel proud that one little boy instinctively recognized the qualities of kindness, patience, and love in Jerry’s life that were reflective of Jesus.

As Gandhi reminded E. Stanley Jones and all of us, Christians ought to live more like Jesus. I’m grateful that Mr. Jerry Nash did.

Lynn Jones is a retired pastor who lives in Oxford. He does supply preaching for churches in his area and often serves as an interim pastor. Jones is also an author, has written two books and writes a weekly newspaper column. He may be contacted at:

One thought on “Lynn Jones: Living like Jesus

  • Jason Ring

    Thank you so very much for sharing this heartfelt and Christlike example and story with us, as “kindness, patience, and love in Jerry’s life that were reflective of Jesus”. I loved the beginning, which succinctly and accurately identified the gap between and challenge of Christians living “Christ-like” or like Christ in the year 2023. It made me think back on the first use of the word “Christian” and the thousands of years that have transpired since it was first uttered, with a focus on who uttered it and why they uttered it.

    My search led me to the New Testament of Acts 11:26, which says “And when he (Barnabas) had found him (Paul, in Tarsus), he brought him unto Antioch. And it came to pass, that a whole year they (Barnabas and Paul) assembled themselves with the church, and taught many people. And the disciples were called Christians first in Antioch”. As helpful as this was, I couldn’t help but ask myself “who” called the disciples “Christians” and why? As a layman of the faith, I consulted “Google” to help point me in a direction, which led me to ( and pointed out that it “wasn’t a name that Jesus’ disciples gave themselves, but rather a name given to them by the society in Antioch”. Naturally, that led me to another question of “who” was in Antioch? That question was then answered in the same link above. I learned that it was what could be called a multicultural and cosmopolitan city indicative of it being named “all the world in one city” ( I couldn’t help but imagine that it was filled with people from all walks of life, spanning multiple languages and cultures, and made of the rich and poor, religious and non-religious, and mixing of what may have been clashing norms under the rulers of the Hellenistic Roman Age. With that, I surmised that the name “Christian” could have very well been given to the disciples by non-believers. But “why” would they have given them that name? As not to steal the thunder from the article, I’ll do my best to simply state that it is because “Christians” brought Jews and Gentiles together in the unifying message and life of Jesus Christ(ian), hence their naming “because of early Christians’ radical inclusivity” (

    With this lens and perspective, I returned to the beginning of the article and see the article’s point, and application in the year 2023, through a slightly modified one. I love Mr Nash’s example of “Christ-like” living and for the young to see Jesus within him, based on his “qualities of kindness, patience, and love” as expressed in the article. I also love that the youth in the church experienced his love firsthand through his basketball coaching. Living “like Christ”, and modeling “Christ-like” qualities with the youth of the church is just as needed in the year 2023 as it was in 90 AD, as God’s word never changes and is relevant in all ages.

    But my slightly modified perspective is that the word “Christian”, was a word given to identify disciples living “like Christ” by those who may have very well not have been in Christ because they saw Christ in them and as a result witnessed and experienced Christ through them. With each passing day, experiencing American Christianity through all of our available mediums, it becomes ever clear to me that I live in a time where the word “Christian” may not have ever been said, let alone thought of, in Antioch had the disciples come from our location and time period. We live in a country that is witnessing the continued decline of church attendance, the growing number of multimillion-dollar mega-churches and conglomerates, the growing politicization and willful weaponization of our faith as a tool of exclusive “God wills it” judgment and ultimate control, and the division of our citizens by equally destructive polarities, of which the weaponized of our faith fervently reside. With the lens and reality, I see the “Christians” challenge in the year 2023 as one of living “like Christ” amongst those on the highways and hedges, than those within the church body.

    Thank you for your wonderful and beautiful article as it touched and inspired me to delve into His word, to seek His face, and to live more “like Christ” through the “Christ-like” qualities of Mr Nash.


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *