Pastor Travis Burkett
In the ’90s, there was a popular trend called WWJD, “What would Jesus do?”. The thought originally was brought to life by a book entitled, “In His Steps: What Would Jesus Do” By Charles Sheldon. The idea for the bracelets was a fun way to witness and check yourself. The thought was that engaging in sin might be a little awkward when you take a look down at that bracelet you’re wearing.
I’m sure this had a positive impact (spiritual check-up) but also a negative one as the meaning of the bracelet was somewhat lost when people used it as a fashion trend rather than a faith statement.
I remember in high school, times when I was facing temptation and took a look down at my wrist and chose to follow Jesus at that moment. However, I can also remember times when I was engaging in sin as a friend asked me what the bracelet meant that was on my wrist, and guilt took over my heart.
The reality is, how we live, act, and treat others matters. Having a mind that says, what would Jesus do in each situation matters too. The question really is, What would Jesus do?
The life of Jesus is one that's impossible to fully follow. However, the principles of His life are things that we should strive to follow. It doesn’t mean that it will be easy, but it will always be worth the struggle to follow Jesus. Jesus’ life shows us the answer to the question, “What would Jesus do?”
Early in Jesus' ministry, He shows us his willingness to grow and develop spiritually (Luke 2:52). One problem with American Christianity is that we think we have arrived or we rely on pastors to study the Bible for us. Jesus shows us what to do. Never stop developing your faith!
He also shows us how to follow through. He was faithful to His friends, His family, and His Father. He stood when others were silent. In John 8:7, the religious leaders approach Jesus with conflict as they caught a woman in adultery. Their attempt to trump Jesus with this conflict sure looked like a success. I imagine the streets were silent. Jesus boldly claims, you with no sin, cast the first stone. All throughout the Scripture, Jesus teaches and shows His followers to stand when others are silent. This also shows Jesus' love for all people.
Philippians 2 shows us just how much that Jesus loves people. Verses 6-8: “Who, being in the form of God, thought it not robbery to be equal with God: But made himself of no reputation, and took upon him the form of a servant, and was made in the likeness of men: And being found in fashion as a man, he humbled himself, and became obedient unto death, even the death of the cross.” Isn’t it amazing that Jesus humbled Himself to take human form for us? He was fully God but man. You would think that He would at least pick a royal family, but Jesus made Himself of no reputation. He enters the life of a little faithful couple from Nazareth. A small oppressed minority community. He emptied Himself for us. Although He was rich, He became poor so that through Him, we could be rich. Jesus loved people.
Jesus also kept His focus when facing struggles. In Matthew 4:1-11, Jesus was led by the Spirit to the wilderness to fast for 40 days and nights. There Jesus encountered temptations from the Devil. Jesus was hungry, tired, and weak but kept His focus in a weak hour. We see in Luke 22:42 that Jesus denies His flesh for the Father's will.
So, What would Jesus do? Jesus submitted to the will of the Father every single time. He was a servant. He was the most loving in the room. He strived to point people to His mission (the Gospel). He was focused and walked with purpose. He was always developing and growing closer to the Father. Jesus put God’s will above everything, and we should too.
So, the next time we are tempted, remember that Jesus was tempted too. The next time that selfishness takes root, remember that Jesus was selfless for you. The next time we hurt, remember that Jesus was hurting but fulfilled His purpose. It’s a simple challenge: The next time you face a circumstance, ask yourself “What would Jesus do?”. The answer may be in the life that Jesus lived for you.