When I was in high school the phrase, “What would Jesus do (WWJD)?” became really popular. As I understand it, it started in the middle of the 20th century as a Bible study group got together and decided that they wanted to start living like Jesus. In order to carry out this enormous feat they came up with the catchphrase “what would Jesus do?” If they ever came across a situation in which they were unsure of how to respond, this question would be their guideline. Though I am sure that someone could explain how this became popular in the mid 90’s, it escapes me.
It became so popular that WWJD began to appear everywhere: bracelets, t-shirts, earrings, on Christian kids, those who preferred to party, jocks, nerds, rednecks, it did not matter, everyone was wearing WWJD. Few people knew what it meant. It most likely began with a few kids wearing it as identification to other kids that they were a Christian, but it spread far and fast.
In any event, I woke up this morning, wondering what Jesus would do. The answer I came up with is pretty simple: if we look at Jesus as our model, we see that He chose love. He was accepting to everyone around Him, the Samaritan (by the way, Samaritans and Jews hated one another) woman at the well (who had 5 divorces and was shacking up with another man), the prostitute who anointed Him, Judas the disciple who betrayed him for 30 pieces of silver, Nicodemus who had big questions, the thief on the cross, the soldier who executed him, plus you and me. Jesus loved and accepted everyone around him.
His love looked different depending on the situation. With the Pharisees and the money changers in the temple, His love was confrontational. He told them the truth in a way they needed to hear it. His confrontation was meant to bring change in their lives, but their hearts were hard. With many others, his love was shown with quality time spent with those who needed it. For the thief and Roman soldier, his love came in the form of forgiveness. That demonstrated f his forgiveness and acceptance of you and me as well.
“What would Jesus do” is a dangerous question. It’ll lead you to people who
you no one wants to be around. It’ll take you to places that no one wants to go. It’ll take you to the most sinful of sinners, the most hardened criminals, society’s outcasts and marginalized, and to the most Godforsaken places. Asking this question will put your life in danger, and cause you to be hated. After all, who is Jesus? Yes Jesus is the Son of God, but He was homeless. Jesus made friends with “tax collectors and sinners.” He did not despise prostitutes, or criminals. He loved everyone, and accepted them for who they were. He spoke the truth when it was unpopular, and in the end He proved that He was right all along.
Go ahead, ask yourself “What would Jesus do?” I dare you…