WWJD. I remember when this phrase was popular back in the 90s. What Would Jesus Do? There were books and T-shirts and wristbands and scads of other merchandise sporting the four letters.
The last while I’ve been thinking sort’ve along these lines. My train of thought goes a little like this: How would Jesus live if He was walking on the earth today? How exactly would he respond to this situation and how would he treat that person and exactly how would His life look different from the way I live mine?
Mom had the Bible open to 1 John this morning, and these verses caught my attention when I sat down to eat lunch:
“Whoever says “I know Him” but does not keep His commandments is a liar, and the truth is not in him, but whoever keeps His word, in him truly the love of God is perfected. By this we may be sure that we are in Him: whoever says he abides in Him ought to walk in the same way in which He walked.” -I John 2: 4-6 (emphasis added)
Jesus ate with tax collectors and sinners and when questioned about this, He said: “It is not the healthy who need a doctor, but the sick. But go and learn what this means: ‘I desire mercy, not sacrifice.’ For I have not come to call the righteous, but sinners.” (Matthew 9:12-13)
How exactly did Jesus walk?
Does this mean Jesus would’ve frequented places where there were sinners abundant, like bars?
How would He treat people who were not living righteous lives? Gays, scoffers, child molesters, murderers, unbelievers in general… What about those who believe religious lies and are deceived?
How would Jesus love the children at Good News Club?
How would He help the homeless guy sitting in the local coffee shop with only his cup of coffee, headphones, and tattered notebook for company? Would He look at him strangely when he started rocking back & forth and singing loudly?
How would he treat the wild Amish down at the gas station on Saturday nights?
I could go on for a long time with scenarios and questions… but what it really comes down to is this: Jesus lived a radical life. And honestly, I don’t think His life looked anything like the safe little boxes we put ourselves into. So in that perspective, what should our lives look like? Of course, we’re not Jesus, but if we’re believers, we are called to walk the path He walked and live like He would live.
Scary as that may be.
(I’m talking to myself just as much as anyone)
This doesn’t necessarily mean that I’m going to walk into The Beer Bucket in town and try to start evangelizing the bartenders. (Don’t think that would be the smartest idea for little Mennonite female me ;)) But that doesn’t mean that God does not call some (strong Christian) people to do that very thing. God is not limited in the ways and places He works.
So what will that look like today? I’m not totally 100% sure. It’s not going to be a one-answer-fits-all, I do know that. God has different journeys and stories and callings and lifestyles in mind for every believer. They’re not all going to look the same. The only way to find out truly for yourself is to start walking and keep seeking and studying how Jesus lived.
Jesus loved abundantly. He knew how to speak truth and have compassion at the same time. He confronted hypocrites. (They hated Him) He wasn’t afraid to do His Father’s will, even when it wasn’t popular and when it involved much pain and suffering. He lived a full, abundant life.
“Therefore be imitators of God, as beloved children. And walk in love, as Christ loved us and gave himself up for us, a fragrant offering and sacrifice to God.” (-Ephesians 5:1-2)