Friday, September 23, 2022
Listen to this devotional:
Listen while you read: "Hail Thou Once Despised Jesus"1 (Lyrics)

I was driving north on Interstate 15 in southern California, USA, on my way to a granddaughter's wedding. I'd left the San Diego airport in a rental car, following the GPS on my phone as I drove. After half an hour, I was directed to take the next off-ramp. As I turned to go under the freeway, I looked to my right at a pedestrian walking across the street. I was startled to see someone who looked just like my husband, who's been in heaven for six years: the same very distinctive walk, his characteristic slim, fit body type, and the identical beard, mustache, hair colour, and clothing style.

I carried that memory throughout the afternoon, thinking that God had given me a special blessing as I travelled alone to the wedding of my stepson's youngest daughter who had, after much prayer and waiting on the Lord, found a wonderful Christian man.

It's a common idea that everyone has a doppelgänger: someone who's not related to you, who probably isn't part of your everyday world, but who has features so similar to yours that it's startling. Since he died, I've seen other people who reminded me of my husband, but nothing so close as this one.

2 Corinthians 3:16,18 – But whenever someone turns to the Lord, the veil is taken away. So all of us who have had that veil removed can see and reflect the glory of the Lord. And the Lord — who is the Spirit — makes us more and more like him as we are changed into his glorious image. (NLT)

What if every time someone passed you or me, their first thought was, "That person looks like Jesus"? What if they thought that you or I reflected His image so closely that there was no mistaking the relationship between us and Jesus?

We may have moments, even days, when this could be true. But until we're in heaven, we'll never completely be a "doppelgänger" of Jesus. In the meantime, the Bible offers advice.

  • We can be like Him by having the mind of Christ. (Philippians 2:5 NLT)

  • We can fix our thoughts on whatever is pure, lovely, admirable, noble, true, righteous, excellent, and praiseworthy. (Philippians 4:8 NLT) A few years ago, I created an acronym to help me remember those: PLANTREP — a nonsense word that I can readily call to mind when my thoughts are straying.

  • We can ask Jesus for the strength — and sometimes the courage — to develop and display the fruit of the Spirit: love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control. (Galatians 5:22-23 ESV)

If we change our thinking, we can change our lives. We can choose to focus on Him instead of on the world and all its problems. It's not easy, but the results will be incredible. Everyone around us will notice the difference and be drawn to Him. As the old hymn by B. B. McKinney says:

    Then live for Christ both day and night,
    Be faithful, be brave, and true,
    And lead the lost to life and light;
    Let others see Jesus in you.

Pray with me:

Prayer: Lord, help me to change my thinking to be like Yours, to constantly focus on right thoughts, and to develop the fruit of the Spirit so that others will see You in me. In Jesus' name, I pray. Amen.

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About the author:

Sharon Cook <>
Apache Junction, Arizona, USA

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1 Comment

  • PresbyCan Feedback says:

    Thanks for the reminder, Sharon.

    The truth is so beautiful to hear Sharon! Blessings.

    What a beautiful devotion today. Thank you for this.

    Romans 12:2
    Amen Sharon!

    I loved this one. What a special story and an awakening to how we should be.

    Love PLANTREP! Always have difficulty with that list! Thanks

    Amen! Thank you for sharing this encouraging devotional with us.

    Good morning, Sharon,
    May we be like Him indeed. Thank you for these good words.

    Good morning. What a lovely writing. Many thanks for sharing your gift with us to encourage us to be the light for Jesus.

    I pray the Lord’s prayer every day, and these words “Forgive us our trespasses as we forgive those who trespass against us” – humility and forgiveness essential to my faith.

    Thank you, Sharon, for your devotional. What encouragement and grace are expressed here both in Scripture and in your words. And thank you for “PLANTREP”: that will help!
    Blessings in our Lord,

    Greetings Sharon and thank you for your very mindful devotional. I loved that acronym, “PLANTREP”, that you created. Yes, how much lighter our load is when we reflect on Jesus and trust in His word, instead of mulling around unpleasant thoughts of our own in our mind. The “fruits of the spirits” are certainly uplifting words to focus on in our daily thoughts. Blessings for the writings you do.

    Thank you for your unique analogy. I am motivated by the following you wrote:
    “What if every time someone passed you or me, their first thought was, “That person looks like Jesus”? What if they thought that you or I reflected His image so closely that there was no mistaking the relationship between us and Jesus?”
    I appreciate your writing.

    Hello Sharon,
    Thank you for sharing your story ” Doppelgängers” in the PresbyCan daily devotional. It is a remarkable experience, isn’t it? I especially loved the last line of the poem “Let others see Jesus in you.” It reminds me of Matthew 5:16 “Let your light shine before others, that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father in heaven.”
    God bless,

    Good morning, Sharon,
    What a wonderful experience on a special day in your life. I have not had a doppelganger experience. Someone I worked with said that about a thousand miles away from where I was working that I had a doppelganger that he used to work with before he came to Toronto. He was sure I was that person moved to Toronto also. But I wasn’t.
    I like your idea of us being a reflection of Jesus to others. An inspirational thought that it was possible. I do believe that if we change our thinking, we can change our lives.
    Thank you for the encouraging and thoughtful devotional which I am sure will get many of us thinking in different ways – looking for doppelgangers and trying to be a doppelganger like Jesus. Blessings.

    Doppelganger what fun word and good lesson for us. Thanks Sharon.

    Thanks for the devotional. I lost my wonderful guy 4 years ago and consciously had to do as Scripture commands, change my thoughts. Only after he passed did I notice doppelgängers. It takes your breath away when that happens!
    Thanks. Maybe we’ll meet up sometime.

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