Jesus’ Example (What Did Jesus Do?)

wwjdWhat would Jesus do:  Remember that one?  Just in case you missed the 90’s, that was the Christian youth catch phrase to end all others.  There were backpacks, bracelets, t-shirts, teddy bears, pencils, bumper stickers, and the list goes on.  If it could be printed, it was.

The question wasn’t new.  “What would Jesus do” is asked by the characters in the short novel In His Steps by Charles Sheldon.  The locals of a small church congregation are challenged to ask this simple question before making any decision of consequence, and their lives are changed in the process.  The only problem, of course, is that we cannot always know for certain what Jesus would do in a particular circumstance.  What then? 

I asked my BCM youth this question last week, and they came up with “Read the Bible” pretty quickly.  It was a good answer.  The four gospels give us the narrative biography of Jesus’ life, and detail several miracles, parables, lessons, and a few sermons.  We can read his words and try to get at his motives.  Last night I came back with another, sometimes more definite, way of know what Jesus would do; we can study what he did.

There is an old saying that actions speak louder than words.  Rather than just study the things Jesus said, and/or instructed others to do, we can look at the things he actively did.  Jesus encountered the wicked and the faithful; he was worship by some and nearly murdered by others; some people followed him around just to test him, while others believed he was the Son of God.  We can discover a wealth of information about becoming Christlike if we find the lessons in these encounters.  How does Jesus respond to criticism?  What does he think of paying taxes?  Did he honor Cesar?  Did Jesus ever get mad?  Was he ever extremely happy?  How did he talk to sinners?  What types of things impressed him?  By learning all we can about exactly what he did in different situations, we can make a more educated guess about what he might do in our place.

I have written several posts on the examples given by Jesus, and have at least a few more to add.  Jesus’ example is listed under categories in the right-hand sidebar.  Why do I keep writing articles on this subject?  Because we told in scripture to have the mind in us that Christ had, to be imitators of Christ, and like the disciples to continue the work he began.  We are the body of Christ.  Knowing what his body did is our first clue to what we should be doing now.

7 thoughts on “Jesus’ Example (What Did Jesus Do?)

  1. Hello;

    You are very right… I agree that we have to follow Jesus’ example in everything we do and specially if talking about Ministry.

    One important aspect, I would like to add, is to follow His example in Evangelism. Jesus never preached: “God has a wonderful plan for your life”, he never said “pray this prayer, accept me into your heart and you’ll get your ‘best life now'”. Jesus never said: “try me for 30 days”, or “I will give you happiness, health, prosperity and success”.

    Instead he strongly started his Minsitry with: “REPENT”, the same way that John the Baptist preached. He exposed the sinner’s heart to God’s Law (10 Commandments) to bring knowledge of sin, and then once the sinner recognizes his sin and the judgement to come, he offered grace.

    I would like to humbly ask you to read a post in my blog called: “Good news?”, where I explain a little bit more this idea.

    Thanks for reading and God bless.

  2. “By learning all we can about exactly what he did in different situations, we can make a more educated guess about what he might do in our place.”

    But He was God.

    I’m jujst trying to figure out how to be me!

    I think He is happy with me being me, and letting Him be in me, sanctifying me, forgiving me, and loving me.

    Otherwise I am in danger of turning my life into the ‘God project’ and concentrating on my performance and forgetting about the work He did for sinners like me on the cross.


  3. Clark, good post. I cringe when I see the acronym “WWJD”, especially when it is commercialised, because it reminds me of something that was more fashion than action. However, I regularly ask myself the question, “what would Jesus do?” There are many decisions that we make in life, that if we stepped back and asked the question, the right path to take is actually quite clear. The huge challenge with the question is that if many of us really take it on board, it would mean taking a very different approach to how we do things.

  4. I have a really interesting article about Christianity, entitled, ‘Why is Christianity Beholden to Babylonian Holidays of Christmas and Easter (Mythology)? Follow the Mammon, Follow the Great Whore and Become Little Spiritual Whores? “Come Out From Among Them And Be Ye Separate, Says YHWH”” My research further shows that the original disciples or Taught Ones were NEVER, EVER told to be “holy,” or to achieve “holiness” or “godliness,” but, INSTEAD, were COMMANDED to be set-apart as Set-Apart Ones to achieve set-apartness through the Set-Apart Spirit of Elohim, BECAUSE Elohim is set-apart. Here is the link: Thank you for your time — and for listening! 777denny 🙂

  5. I am allowing Denny’s comment above, including the link to his blog post. Having said that I have just a few thoughts.

    1) My thoughts on Christmas and Easter can be found here: Yes, the celebration have pagan roots. The Christian versions celebrate the birth, life, death, burial and resurrection. I don’t see the problem. To completely divorce ourselves from pagan influence we would have to rename the days of the weeks. We can be in the world but not of the world; remaining in the world challenges how circumspectly we can walk in a practical manner.

    2) No, there were not Christians in Egypt in 200 B.C. (I’m familiar with BC/AD and CE/BCE. I don’t even know what BCC is.) They were called Christians first at Antioch because they acted Christ-like. Christians identify with the cross because of the crucifixion at the hands of the Romans. Whatever other cultures may similar looking things, that doesn’t mean Christians borrowed the cross from those cultures. “For the word of the cross is folly to those who are perishing, but to us who are being saved it is the power of God. (1 Corinthians 1:18, ESV)

    3) Much of the research and many of the scriptures quoted are from the Old Testament. We should read and study the who Bible, but reading the New Testament puts us in the right frame of mind. It centers us spiritually. We must look at the Old Testament in light of the New. Focusing solely on either testament is not the way to understand God’s message, and in humble opinion the linked article is not tempered by New Covenant understanding.

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