What Would Jesus Do?

In the midst of all the political clamor, spin, and saber rattling, I keep seeing the question “What would Jesus do” pop up on facebook.   One recent fb post went like this…

  • J: Jesus was not a Republican.
  • H: Sorry to burst your bubble but he was not a Democrat either.
  • W: He was a socialist.
  • H: No W, He was the Son of God.
  • W: He is for you, H.
  • J: He was as we all are…..
  • H: And He can be for you too W.
  • C: I think he was an independent.

I have been thinking about the absurdity of this and other similar posts. It is good to think about how Jesus would have us respond to situations that we find ourselves in.  How would Jesus have us  think and respond to life situations? But I wonder,  are we really ready for His answer?

The people in Biblical time,  had a warped view of their expectations of who Jesus was and his mission on earth.  They expected a political savior, an earthly king,  one that would usher in a new era of freedom from the oppressive Roman regime.  The Pharisees and Sadducees,  the religious leaders of the time, thought they understood the law and were experts at keeping every detail.   The disciples, his closest friends, struggled to come to terms with Him.  They were looking for the Messiah but to know for sure, without a doubt, that Jesus was the one was a difficult thing for them to come to terms with.  After his death and resurrection they saw and understand clearly that Jesus truly was the long awaited Messiah, the Son of God.

As I ponder the “WWJD” question, I thought about the recorded stories in the Bible.  Jesus….

  • Ate and socialized with tax collectors and other known sinful men. He  sat at the table in their homes socializing with these “unclean, social outcast” folks.  When asked why,  he responded, “People who are well do not need a doctor. I want loving-kindness and not a gift to be given. I did not come to call good people but sinners.”  (Matthew 9:9-13).
  • Healed on the Sabbath even though the  Old Testament law gave strict rules for observing the Sabbath.  Jesus said  He was Lord of the Sabbath and desires mercy not sacrifice. (Matthew 12:1-8)
  • Told the rich young ruler to sell everything he owned and give to the poor and then come follow Him. (Luke 18:18-23). (Note: He didn’t tell this to everyone).
  • When a woman who was caught in the very act of adultery was brought to him for judgement, he turned to the accusers and said, “let him who is without sin, throw the first stone.” (The sentence for adultery was stoning). When the accusers had all slipped away Jesus forgave her sin and told her to go and sin no more. (John 8:1-12)
  • Sat and talked with a Samaritan woman. No Jew talked to the hated, cross-breed Samaritans. They walked out of their way to avoid even walking through their land.  Jesus talked to her even though she was a 5-time divorcee and living with another man.  Jesus offered her “living water” and guess what. She went and brought out the village to hear him. (John 4:1-26)

Jesus said he did not come to destroy the law but to fulfill it. Here are some of  Jesus teachings….

  • The law says we should not commit adultery. Jesus said if you look at a woman and lust after her you commit adultery. (Matthew 5:27-30)
  • Love your enemies, bless people that curse you and pray for those who spitefully use and persecute you. (Matthew 5:44)
  • If an evil person slaps you on the cheek, turn and let him slap the other cheek.  If he sues you and takes away your tunic, give him your coat also. (Matthew 5:39)
  • The law says that whoever murders is in danger of eternal judgement. Jesus said if you are angry with your brother without cause you are guilty of murder. (Matthew 5:21-22)
  • Don’t judge others.  The way you judge others is the way you will be judged. (Matthew 7:1-5)
  • Every idle word a man speaks, he will give account of it in the day of judgement. (Matthew 12:36)
  • We are to forgive 70X7. If we don’t forgive, God will not forgive us. (Matthew 18:21-35, Mark 11:25-26)
  • Equality of people.  Greatness is serving others. (Matthew 20:20-28)
  • Pay our taxes, give to our government what is due. (Matthew 22:15-21)
  • Evil things (evil thoughts, adultery, fornication, murder, deceit, lewdness, an evil eye, blasphemy, pride, and foolishness) that come from the heart of men are what defile him, not the food he eats. (Mark 7:14-23)
  • Marriage is sacred and binding. (Matthew 5: 31-32, Mark 10:1-12)
  • Beware of covetousness-wanting more and more for one’s life does not depend in the abundance of things he possesses. (Luke 12:15-21)
  • The love we show to others is a reflection of our love for Him. (John 13:33-35)
  • We are to go the second mile for people who take advantage of us. (Matthew 5:41)

This is hard stuff!  His teachings may be easy to read but applying them to real life situations is difficult because we live in a broken world.  Jesus answers and actions usually surprised and defied the religious leaders. It did not fit their tradition of religious law. Jesus transcended the law and moved people to see that the motives of the heart were as important as the actual act. He wants us to value and care for others as much as we value and care for ourselves. He taught us to put our faith and trust in God to supply our needs rather than our wealth.

Jesus paid the ultimate price. He died a cruel death, the worst kind of death and torture imaginable because of  His love for you and I.  Our sin is a debt and we can not pay it.  But Jesus paid that debt so I can be free from the bondage of sin. I just have to accept that marvelous, wonderful gift.

So what would Jesus do in 21st century life? To be honest, I don’t know and it makes me a little uncomfortable to try to fit Him into my mold.   I do know that He would not be involved in the political arena, serve on committees at church, sing in the choir, serve as overseer of a denomination, stage a sit-in or march on capital square even though these may be good things.  I probably would be surprised and maybe even a little offended at His teaching,  style and ministry.

Jesus did not come to judge but to show us the Father’s love.   He met people where they were at and offered them hope, love, deliverance, and truth.  I do know that He will give us wisdom.  The Holy Spirit will guide us into truth if we seek for it. I do know the Bible is for real and it’s words transcend time. I do know that Jesus would want us to value  life, respect people, care for the needy, speak peace and encouragement to those who are lonely,  hurting and depressed. I do know that He would want us to visit those who are sick and in prison. He would want us to share His light, His truth, and His salvation to a hurting, sinful world.  Maybe, just maybe,  I should ask instead, “What would Jesus have me to do?”

2 Comments »

  1. terri a. Said:

    [Jesus did not come to judge but to show us the Father’s love. He met people where they were at and offered them hope, love, deliverance, and truth. I do know that He will give us wisdom. The Holy Spirit will guide us into truth if we seek for it. I do know the Bible is for real and it’s words transcend time. I do know that Jesus would want us to value life, respect people, care for the needy, speak peace and encouragement to those who are lonely, hurting and depressed. I do know that He would want us to visit those who are sick and in prison. He would want us to share His light, His truth, and His salvation to a hurting, sinful world. Maybe, just maybe, I should ask instead, “What would Jesus have me to do?”]

    wow to yur ntire post. looked up fall crops for a personal spiritual metaphor, yur site came up, it was most helpful. then went to put it n favorites & wanted the main page & so clicked on yur blog thinking it was all about farming, literally.

    i appreciate yur loving objectivity, sobriety, & humbleness, it is refreshing. obviously i dn’t know u, i only know the words that God apparently had u share & which spoke to me.

    i know that God desires that we understand how God ‘moves’ on behalf of God’s creation today (romans 8:18-28)
    i know that yur queries, shall b answered & perhaps sooner than u might xpect.

    thank u again for daring to share sum of yur spiritual journey, it has been a blessing to me.
    terri a.

    p.s. luv that last question!

    Like

  2. Pat Said:

    Thanks for sharing your comments. They blessed my day!

    Like


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