Monthly Archives: August 2005

WWJD – What would Jesus do?

Sometime around 1996-1997 people in my community started displaying bracelets, t-shirts, and bumper stickers with the logo “WWJD.” I learned that this logo is an acronym for the phrase “What would Jesus do,” a constant reminder that Jesus is supposed to be first and foremost in all of our thoughts and actions because we are supposed to emulate and imitate Christ. (Col. 3:17, “And [whatever] you do in word or deed, [do] all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through Him.”)

I was not surprised to learn, however, that many of the people proudly displaying WWJD had no real knowledge about the nature of Christ, or what He would actually do. Accordingly, I prepare the following short outline of some of the things Christ would do.
1. Jesus would study the Bible. Once when Jesus was missing at the age of twelve, His parents found Him studying in the temple:

41 His [Jesus’] parents went to Jerusalem every year at the Feast of the Passover. 42 And when He was twelve years old, they went up to Jerusalem according to the custom of the feast. 43 When they had finished the days, as they returned, the Boy Jesus lingered behind in Jerusalem. And Joseph and His mother did not know [it;] 44 but supposing Him to have been in the company, they went a day’s journey, and sought Him among [their] relatives and acquaintances. 45 So when they did not find Him, they returned to Jerusalem, seeking Him. 46 Now so it was [that] after three days they found Him in the temple, sitting in the midst of the teachers, both listening to them and asking them questions. 47 And all who heard Him were astonished at His understanding and answers. 48 So when they saw Him, they were amazed; and His mother said to Him, “Son, why have You done this to us? Look, Your father and I have sought You anxiously.” 49 And He said to them, “Why did you seek Me? Did you not know that I must be about My Father’s business?” (Luke 2:41-49 )

2. Jesus would faithfully attend & participate in worship services. Jesus’ devotion to God’s word was habitual and He customarily attended worship services.

“16 So He [Jesus] came to Nazareth, where He had been brought up. And as His custom was, He went into the synagogue on the Sabbath day, and stood up to read. 17 And He was handed the book of the prophet Isaiah. And when He had opened the book, He found the place where it was written: . . . .”

3. Jesus would give Bible answers for Bible questions. Jesus is quoted as citing numerous Old Testament Scriptures during His life on Earth. Perhaps the most memorable occasion, however, is when Satan tempted Christ three times and Jesus responded three times by saying, “It is written.”

3 Now when the tempter came to Him, he said, “If You are the Son of God, command that these stones become bread.” 4 But He answered and said, “It is written, ‘Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceeds from the mouth of God.’ ” 5 Then the devil took Him up into the holy city, set Him on the pinnacle of the temple, 6 and said to Him, “If You are the Son of God, throw Yourself down. For it is written: ‘He shall give His angels charge over you,’ and, ‘In [their] hands they shall bear you up, Lest you dash your foot against a stone.’ ” 7 Jesus said to him, “It is written again, ‘You shall not tempt the LORD your God.’ ” 8 Again, the devil took Him up on an exceedingly high mountain, and showed Him all the kingdoms of the world and their glory. 9 And he said to Him, “All these things I will give You if You will fall down and worship me.” 10 Then Jesus said to him, “Away with you, Satan! For it is written, ‘You shall worship the LORD your God, and Him only you shall serve.’ ” (Matthew 4:3-10)

4. Jesus would not follow the wisdom or traditions of men, but rather the wisdom of God.

Then the scribes and Pharisees who were from Jerusalem came to Jesus, saying, 2 “Why do Your disciples transgress the tradition of the elders? For they do not wash their hands when they eat bread.” 3 He answered and said to them, “Why do you also transgress the commandment of God because of your tradition? 4 “For God commanded, saying, ‘Honor your father and your mother’; and, ‘He who curses father or mother, let him be put to death.’ 5 “But you say, ‘Whoever says to his father or mother, “Whatever profit you might have received from me [is] a gift [to God” — ] 6 ‘then he need not honor his father or mother.’ Thus you have made the commandment of God of no effect by your tradition. 7 “Hypocrites! Well did Isaiah prophesy about you, saying: 8 ‘These people draw near to Me with their mouth, And honor Me with [their] lips, But their heart is far from Me. 9 And in vain they worship Me, Teaching [as] doctrines the commandments of men.’ ” (Matthew 15:1-9)

5. Jesus would humble Himself. Jesus understood that humility, that is, submission to God’s will (Matthew 11:39, 42) is an essential part of a Christian’s life. This is a lesson He taught the disciples in the Beatitudes in the Sermon on the Mount (Matthew 5:3,5), and demonstrated for the Apostles when He washed their feet:

1 Now before the feast of the Passover, when Jesus knew that His hour had come that He should depart from this world to the Father, having loved His own who were in the world, He loved them to the end. 2 And supper being ended, the devil having already put it into the heart of Judas Iscariot, Simon’s [son,] to betray Him, 3 Jesus, knowing that the Father had given all things into His hands, and that He had coe from God and was going to God, 4 rose from supper and laid aside His garments, took a towel and girded Himself. 5 After that, He poured water into a basin and began to wash the disciples’ feet, and to wipe [them] with the towel with which He was girded. 6 Then He came to Simon Peter. And [Peter] said to Him, “Lord, are You washing my feet?” 7 Jesus answered and said to him, “What I am doing you do not understand now, but you will know after this.” 8 Peter said to Him, “You shall never wash my feet!” Jesus answered him, “If I do not wash you, you have no part with Me.” 9 Simon Peter said to Him, “Lord, not my feet only, but also [my] hands and [my] head!” 10 Jesus said to him, “He who is bathed needs only to wash [his] feet, but is completely clean; and you are clean, but not all of you.” 11 For He knew who would betray Him; therefore He said, “You are not all clean.” 12 So when He had washed their feet, taken His garments, and sat down again, He said to them, “Do you know what I have done to you? 13 “You call me Teacher and Lord, and you say well, for [so] I am. 14 “If I then, [your] Lord and Teacher, have washed your feet, you also ought to wash one another’s feet. 15 “For I have given you an example, that you should do as I have done to you. 16 “Most assuredly, I say to you, a servant is not greater than his master; nor is he who is sent greater than he who sent him. (John
13:1-16)

6. Jesus would pray. Jesus prayed. He prayed in the morning (Mark 1:35) and evening(Luke 6:12). He prayed alone and in secret (Matthew 14:23; Mark 1:35; Luke 5:16, Luke 9:18), and with others (Luke 9:28-29, Luke 11:1). He prayed in a garden (Matthew 26:36), on a mountain (Matthew 14:23; Luke 6:12, Luke 9:28-29, Luke 22:39), and in a wilderness (Mark 1:35).
Jesus prayed on the occasion of His baptism (Luke 3:21), before He selected His Apostles (Luke 6:12), before His transfiguration (Luke 9:28-29), and before the resurrection of Lazarus (John 11:41).
Jesus would pray to praise God (Matthew 11:25-26), to give thanks to God (John 11:41) for Himself (John 17:1-5), and for God to intercede on behalf of Jesus’ disciples (John 17:6-19) and all other believers (John 17:20-26).
Jesus taught his disciples to pray that God’s will be done, that the Kingdom be established, for the necessities of life, for the forgiveness of sins, for the avoidance of temptation, and salvation (Luke 11:1-4; Mark 14:38).
7. Jesus would do onto others as He would have done to Himself. After all, Jesus is the author of the Golden Rule (Luke 6:31).
8. Jesus would weep with the mourning. Jesus understood that those who mourn will be comforted (Matthew 5:4) and that that Christians should have compassion for those who mourn.

Now a certain [man] was sick, Lazarus of Bethany, the town of Mary and her sister Martha. 2 It was [that] Mary who anointed the Lord with fragrant oil and wiped His feet with her hair, whose brother Lazarus was sick. 3 Therefore the sisters sent to Him, saying, “Lord, behold, he whom You love is sick.” 4 When Jesus heard [that,] He said, “This sickness is not unto death, but for the glory of God, that the Son of God may be glorified through it.” 5 Now Jesus loved Martha and her sister and Lazarus. 6 So, when He heard that he was sick, He stayed two more days in the place where He was. 7 Then after this He said to [the] disciples, “Let us go to Judea again.” 8 [The] disciples said to Him, “Rabbi, lately the Jews sought to stone You, and are You going there again?” 9 Jesus answered, “Are there not twelve hours in the day? If anyone walks in the day, he does not stumble, because he sees the light of this world. 10 “But if one walks in the night, he stumbles, because the light is not in him.” 11 These things He said, and after that He said to them, “Our friend Lazarus sleeps, but I go that I may wake him up.” 12 Then His disciples said, “Lord, if he sleeps he will get well.” 13 However, Jesus spoke of his death, but they thought that He was speaking about taking rest in sleep. 14 Then Jesus said to them plainly, “Lazarus is dead. 15 “And I am glad for your sakes that I was not there, that you may believe. Nevertheless let us go to him.” 16 Then Thomas, who is called the Twin, said to his fellow disciples, “Let us also go, that we may die with Him.” 17 So when Jesus came, He found that he had already been in the tomb four days. 18 Now Bethany was near Jerusalem, about two miles away. 19 And many of the Jews had joined the women around Martha and Mary, to comfort them concerning their brother. 20 Then Martha, as soon as she heard that Jesus was coming, went and met Him, but Mary was sitting in the house. 21 Then Martha said to Jesus, “Lord, if You had been here, my brother would not have died. 22 “But even now I know that whatever You ask of God, God will give You.” 23 Jesus said to her, “Your brother will rise again.” 24 Martha said to Him, “I know that he will rise again in the resurrection at the last day.” 25 Jesus said to her, “I am the resurrection and the life. He who believes in Me, though he may die, he shall live. 26 “And whoever lives and believes in Me shall never die. Do you believe this?” 27 She said to Him, “Yes, Lord, I believe that You are the Christ, the Son of God, who is to come into the world.” 28 And when she had said these things, she went her way and secretly called Mary her sister, saying, “The
Teacher has come and is calling for you.” 29 As soon as she heard [that,] she arose quickly and came to Him. 30 Now Jesus had not yet come into the town, but was in the place where Martha met Him. 31 Then the Jews who were with her in the house, and comforting her, when they saw that Mary rose up quickly and went out, followed her, saying, “She is going to the tomb to weep there.” 32 Then, when Mary came where Jesus was, and saw Him, she fell down at His feet, saying to Him, “Lord, if You had been here, my brother would not have died.” 33 Therefore, when Jesus saw her weeping, and the Jews who came with her weeping, He groaned in the spirit and was troubled. 34 And He said, “Where have you laid him?” They said to Him, “Lord, come and see.” 35 Jesus wept. 36 Then the Jews said, “See how He loved him!” (John 11:1-36)

9. Jesus would visit the sick.

13 When Jesus heard [it,] {the death & burial of His first cousin, John the
Baptist} He departed from there by boat to a deserted place by Himself. But when
the multitudes heard it, they followed Him on foot from the cities. 14 And when
Jesus went out He saw a great multitude; and He was moved with compassion for
them, and healed their sick. (Matthew 14:13-14)

10. Jesus would give to the poor.

31 ” When the Son of Man comes in His glory, and all the holy angels with Him, then He will sit on the throne of His glory. 32 “All the nations will be gathered before Him, and He will separate them one from another, as a shepherd divides [his] sheep from the goats. 33 “And He will set the sheep on His right hand, but the goats on the left. 34 “Then the King will say to those on His right hand, ‘Come, you blessed of My Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world: 35 ‘for I was hungry and you gave Me food; I was thirsty and you gave Me drink; I was a stranger and you took Me in; 36 ‘I [was] naked and you clothed Me; I was sick and you visited Me; I was in prison and you came to Me.’ 37 “Then the righteous will answer Him, saying, ‘Lord, when did we see You hungry and feed [You,] or thirsty and give [You] drink? 38 ‘When did we see You a stranger and take [You] in, or naked and clothe [You?] 39 ‘Or when did we see You sick, or in prison, and come to You?’ 40 “And the King will answer and say to them, ‘Assuredly, I say to you, inasmuch as you did [it] to one of the least of these My brethren, you did [it] to Me.’ 41 “Then He will also say to those on the left hand, ‘Depart from Me, you cursed, into the everlasting fire prepared for the devil and his angels: 42 ‘for I was hungry and
you gave Me no food; I was thirsty and you gave Me no drink; 43 ‘I was a stranger and you did not take Me in, naked and you did not clothe Me, sick and in prison and you did not visit Me.’ 44 “Then they also will answer Him, saying, ‘Lord, when did we see You hungry or thirsty or a stranger or naked or sick or in prison, and did not minister to You?’ 45 “Then He will answer them, saying, ‘Assuredly, I say to you, inasmuch as you did not do [it] to one of the least of these, you did not do [it] to Me.’ 46 “And these will go away into everlasting punishment, but the righteous into eternal life.” (Matthew 25:31-46)

11. Jesus would take care of His parents. Another example of how Christ would think of others before Himself is when He was dying on the cross, Jesus thought about the welfare for His mother, Mary:

25 Now there stood by the cross of Jesus His mother, and His mother’s sister, Mary the [wife] of Clopas, and Mary Magdalene. 26 When Jesus therefore saw His mother, and the disciple whom He loved standing by, He said to His mother, “Woman, behold your son!” 27 Then He said to the disciple, “Behold your mother!” And from that hour that disciple took her to his own [home.] (John 19:25-27)

12. Jesus would neither use profane language or say mean, hurtful things. Jesus said that “the things which proceed out of the mouth come forth out of the heart, and they defile the man.” (Matthew 15:18)

13. Jesus would not covet money & material possessions. Jesus understood that the most precious commodity that we will ever possess is a soul (Matthew 16:26), and that it is not possible to both serve God and desire money (Matthew 6:24).

14. Jesus would not live in sin and adultery.

1 But Jesus went to the Mount of Olives. 2 Now early in the morning He came again into the temple, and all the people came to Him; and He sat down and taught them. 3 Then the scribes and Pharisees brought to Him a woman caught in adultery. And when they had set her in the midst, 4 they said to Him, “Teacher, this woman was caught in adultery, in the very act. 5 “Now Moses, in the law, commanded us that such should be stoned. But what do You say?” 6 This they said, testing Him, that they might have [something] of which to accuse Him. But Jesus stooped down and wrote on the ground with [His] finger, as though He did not hear. 7 So when they continued asking Him, He raised Himself up and said to them, “He who is without sin among you, let him throw a stone at her first.” 8 And again He stooped down and wrote on the ground. 9 Then those who heard [it,] being convicted by [their] conscience, went out one by one, beginning with the oldest [even] to the last. And Jesus was left alone, and the woman standing in the midst. 10 When Jesus had raised Himself up and saw no one but the woman, He said to her, “Woman, where are those accusers of yours? Has no one condemned you?” 11 She said, “No one, Lord.” And Jesus said to her, “Neither do I condemn you; go and sin no more.” (John 8:1-11)

15. Jesus would not divorce a spouse for any reason short of adultery.

1 Now it came to pass, when Jesus had finished these sayings, [that] He departed from Galilee and came to the region of Judea beyond the Jordan. 2 And great multitudes followed Him, and He healed them there. 3 The Pharisees also came to Him, testing Him, and saying to Him, “Is it lawful for a man to divorce his wife for [just] any reason?” 4 And He answered and said to them, “Have you not read that He who made [them] at the beginning ‘made them male and female,’ 5 “and said, ‘For this reason a man shall leave his father and mother and be joined to his wife, and the two shall become one flesh’? 6 “So then, they are no longer two but one flesh. Therefore what God has joined together, let not man separate.” 7 They said to Him, “Why then did Moses command to give a certificate of divorce, and to put her away?” 8 He said to them, “Moses, because of the hardness of your hearts, permitted you to divorce your wives, but from the beginning it was not so. 9 “And I say to you, whoever divorces his wife, except for sexual immorality, and marries another, commits adultery; and whoever marries her who is divorced commits adultery.” 10 His disciples said to Him, “If such is the case of the man with [his] wife, it is better not to marry.” 11 But He said to them, “All cannot accept this saying, but only [those] to whom it has been given: 12 “For there are eunuchs who were born thus from [their] mother’s womb, and there are eunuchs who were made eunuchs by men, and there are eunuchs who have made themselves eunuchs for the kingdom of heaven’s sake. He who is able to accept [it,] let him accept [it.”] (Matthew 19:1-12)

16. Jesus would love His own friends so much, He would die for them.

12 “This is My commandment, that you love one another as I have loved you. 13
“Greater love has no one than this, than to lay down one’s life for his friends.
14 “You are My friends if you do whatever I command you. 15 “No longer do I call
you servants, for a servant does not know what his master is doing; but I have
called you friends, for all things that I heard from My Father I have made known
to you. 16 “You did not choose Me, but I chose you and appointed you that you
should go and bear fruit, and [that] your fruit should remain, that whatever you
ask the Father in My name He may give you. 17 “These things I command you, that
you love one another. (John 15:12-17)

17. Jesus would obey God in all things. In the Garden of Gethsemane (Matthew 26:42), Jesus prayed that “Your [God’s] will be done.” Later, Christ knew He had obeyed God in all things when He was dying on the cross and said, “It is finished.”

28 After this, Jesus, knowing that all things were now accomplished, that the Scripture might be fulfilled, said, “I thirst!” 29 Now a vessel full of sour wine was sitting there; and they filled a sponge with sour wine, put [it] on hyssop, and put [it] to His mouth. 30 So when Jesus had received the sour wine, He said, “It is finished!” And bowing His head, He gave up His spirit. (John 19:28-30)

Paul, in his letter to the Philippians, points out that Jesus was obedient to the point of death on the cross:

5 Let this mind be in you which was also in Christ Jesus, 6 who, being in the form of God, did not consider it robbery to be equal with God, 7 but made Himself of no reputation, taking the form of a bondservant, [and] coming in the likeness of men. 8 And being found in appearance as a man, He [Christ] humbled Himself and became obedient to [the point of] death, even the death of the cross. 9 Therefore God also has highly exalted Him and given Him the name which is above every name, 10 that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, of those in heaven, and of those on earth, and of those under the earth, 11 and [that] every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ [is] Lord, to the glory of God the Father. 12 Therefore, my beloved, as you have always obeyed, not as in my presence only, but now much more in my absence, work out your own salvation with fear and trembling; 13 for it is God who works in you both to will and to do for [His] good pleasure. 14 Do all things without complaining and disputing, 15 that you may become blameless and harmless, children of God without fault in the midst of a crooked and perverse generation, among whom you shine as lights in the world, 16 holding fast the word of life, so that I may rejoice in the day of Christ that I have not run in vain or labored in vain. (Philippians 2:5-16)

18. Jesus would not believe that the majority was right. Jesus understands that few will be saved and most will be condemned (Matthew 7:13,14).

19. Jesus would not call preachers “Reverend,” or “Father.” (Matthew 23:8,9)

20. Jesus would not confuse secular functions with spiritual missions. (Mark 11:15-18)

21. Jesus would not assume a new earthly kingdom or throne that will last 1000 years, but teach that His spiritual kingdom exists today in Heaven and in the Church and began on the day of Pentecost. Jesus said that “My kindom is not of this world,” (John 18:36) and “That there are some standing here who will not not taste of death till they see the kingdom of God present with power” (Mark 9:1).

22. Jesus today would following the commands and examples of the Apostles. Not that the Apostles have authority over Christ, but Christ expects us to follow their teachings and examples. Before His death and resurrection, Jesus instructed the Apostles that He would send a Comforter or Helper (John14:16, 14:26, 15:26, 16:7), the Holy Spirit (John 14:17), to guide the Apostles into all truth, teach them all things and to bring to their rememberance the things that Jesus said (John 14:26, 16:13). He gave them authority and the Holy Spirit gave them knowledge and inspiration.

23. Jesus would be baptized. When we think of WWJD, we must remember that Jesus was baptized. Of course, unlike you and me, Christ had no reason to be baptized for the remission of sins, but He nonetheless had to be baptized in order to obey the commandments of God.

13 Then Jesus came from Galilee to John at the Jordan to be baptized by him. 14 And John [tried to] prevent Him, saying, “I need to be baptized by You, and are You coming to me?” 15 But Jesus answered and said to him, “Permit [it to be so] now, for thus it is fitting for us to fulfill all righteousness.” Then he allowed Him. 16 When He had been baptized, Jesus came up immediately from the water; and behold, the heavens were opened to Him, and He saw the Spirit of God descending like a dove and alighting upon Him. 17 And suddenly a voice [came] from heaven, saying, “This is My beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased.” (Matthew 3:13-17)

Remember, Christ Himself said baptism was essential for salvation (Mark 16:16). We must also remember that in order to “[do] all in the name of the Lord Jesus,” (Col. 3:17) we must put on Christ, and only “as many of you as were baptized into Christ have put on Christ” (Gal. 3:27).