I appreciate the sentiment behind the WWJD (What Would Jesus Do?), seeking to reflect Christ’s example in our own lives, but let’s face it, Jesus had a very different ministry than any of us; making direct parallels is going to be difficult. For instance, what would Jesus do for a paralytic man in need of healing? He would forgive his sins (that would be blasphemy coming from me). What would Jesus do to repeal an evil curse responsible for everything wrong in this world? Well, for starters He would die for it. He is going to overturn tables and money changers, drive out merchants and make bold accusations. Jesus came to deliver divine law, satisfy the demands of justice and fulfill righteousness – these are the kind of things that Jesus would do.
What Would Jesus Really Do? Here are 10 Examples of What We are Called to Imitate
While the WWJD model fails to apply directly in many situations, generally speaking there is obedience to the authority of God and His law that Jesus both displayed and taught. Here are 10 examples of what we are called to imitate:
Worship God alone
The heart loves what it treasures; affections will naturally follow what is held as valuable. Jesus warns, “You shall worship the Lord your God, and Him only you shall serve.” (Matthew 4:10).
Jesus’ greatest demand was to repent, “unless you repent you will all likewise perish.” (Luke 13:3). Jesus said that “repentance and remission of sins should be preached in His name to all nations, beginning at Jerusalem.” (Luke 24:46-47).
Besides the evangelistic aspect of discipleship, there is the ongoing effort to teach and encourage. The bible simply defines discipleship as “teaching them to observe all things that I have commanded you”. (Matthew 28:20). It is important to expose people to a level of biblical teaching that truly promotes a lifetime of sanctification and spiritual growth.
Help the poor
It’s really quite simple, when you love and serve the poor, you love and serve Christ (Matthew 25:35). Jesus taught us that we should give from the bounty of our blessing: “…He who has two tunics, let him give to him who has none; and he who has food, let him do likewise.” (Luke 3:11).
It is helpful to periodically rehearse the Lord Jesus’ teaching on prayer. A good place to begin is by studying the basic pattern of the Lord’s Prayer found in Luke 11; it will help develop habits that result in effective prayer.
Be careful what you sow
The concept of sowing and reaping is scattered throughout the gospels, especially in the Sermon on the Mount; for instance, to the poor in spirit belongs the kingdom of Heaven; the meek will inherit the earth; those who hunger and thirst for righteousness will be filled; the merciful will receive mercy. In Galatians 6:7-8 Paul the Apostle expounds on this principle: “Do not be deceived, God is not mocked; for whatever a man sows, that he will also reap. For he who sows to his flesh will of the flesh reap corruption, but he who sows to the Spirit will of the Spirit reap everlasting life.”
God provides for the sparrow and He clothes the lilies in a beauty unmatched by even Solomon in all his glory – How much more does your Father in heaven care for you? The rest of the passage in Matthew 6:31-34 says, “Therefore do not worry, saying, ‘What shall we eat?’ or ‘What shall we drink?’ or ‘What shall we wear?’ …For your heavenly Father knows that you need all these things. But seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things shall be added to you.”
Love His enemies
Jesus says to do good to those who hate you (Luke 6:27); pray for those who persecute you (Matthew 5:44); and bless those who curse you (Luke 6:27-36). “For if you love those who love you, what reward have you? Do not even the tax collectors do the same?” (Matthew 5:46).
Adhere to the Golden Rule
Simply put, do unto others as you would have them do to you. To love your neighbor as yourself is listed by Jesus as one of the greatest commandments. Take heed accordingly.
Honor Father and Mother
No matter what is deserved, Jesus teaches that we are to honor and respect our moms and dads. It is the first commandment that holds with it a promise “that it may be well with you and you may live long on the earth.” (Ephesians 6:3).