What would Jesus do?

This is part two of my reflection on Encounter from last Sunday. The initials "WWJD" are immediately recognisable for most Christians thanks to rather successful marketing. I think that is helpful to stop and reflect on Christ-like responses to situations we face in our daily lives, but perhaps it is possible to overdo it. There is the "What would Jesus Eat" cookbook. How about "What would Jesus drive?" Click here for a website that uses this catchy slogan to support Christian environmental responsibilities. I agree with the principle of creation care and responsible stewardship, but this way of looking at it amused me. (Now what would Jesus have driven? Would Jesus have gone for a hybrid car, a big people mover [for all the disciples], or maybe he would have caught buses and trains)…

Andrew McGowan has this to say about the "what would Jesus do" phenomenon:

"And that religionless Jesus himself, supposedly above history and culture, always becomes the mirror image of the era’s own cultural values. ‘What would Jesus do?’ ends up as something like a nice and thoughtful version of ‘What my friends and I would probably like to do anyway’."

Truly living in the way that Jesus lived is radical and counter-cultural. I may stop and wonder "what would Jesus do" in a particular situation, but how often would this reflection lead to action, and then to action that genuinely reflects the nature of Jesus and not simply my own cultural values? Not often enough.

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4 thoughts on “What would Jesus do?

  1. Good point – I should have written “at times counter-cultural”. Perhaps my view of dominant culture is a bit too negative at times! Jesus reflected his culture – but often acted in a way that was outside its confines – eg healing on the sabbath, “the crumbs under the table” story, the woman with the perfume jar. He pushed boundaries with his friendships, and with his insistance of valuing the heart attitude and motivations over external practices, regardless of their social acceptibility or desirability. This is a challenge for our culture, and for me personally.

  2. Christina -I am enjoying your postings. One of my favourite stories of Jesus’ exploits is the time when He toppled the sale tables outside the Temple in Jerusalem. He knew He would cop it, and He did. But what a legacy He left for anyone who cared to check out the prevailing culture, i.e. the priests manipulating the religious system of that time, to line their pockets at the expense of the poorer members of their community. Reminds me of some politicians and their careless use of public money. What would Jesus say and do?

    What would he say to the rulers of this country about the injustice towards the Serbian kicked out of Australia after 36 years? Maybe He would pick up his guitar and sing “Get a little luv in your hearts”. Well, mercy would be a start.

  3. Thanks for your comment Judy. Imagine if we “overturned tables” every time we saw hypocrisy or injustice? Our country and our own lives would end up in total chaos!

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