What would Jesus do? Believe it or not, this question, which basically became a joke to most Christians after it graced every t-shirt, bracelet, and bumper sticker for awhile, has now become a serious and essential question of the Christian faith. I’ve seen it asked in all kinds of contexts, and usually those of us who are quick to answer it seem to feel as if we have a direct line to Jesus’ brain that tells us in any and every situation how Jesus would handle things.
The fact is that we can never know with all certainty how Jesus would handle anything because He is God, and the Bible clearly tells us that His thoughts are higher than our thoughts and His ways are higher than our ways.
Yes, we can see His character played out in Scripture. But, we see Him both rebuke and forgive. We see Him love and we see Him feel righteous anger. We see him humble himself as a servant, and we see Him exalted at the right hand of the Father. We see Jesus eat with sinners, and we see Him meet with religious leaders. We see Him combat Satan in the desert and we see Him stand silent before His accusers in the courts. We see Him healing the masses and we see Him allowing His friend to die. Jesus is a highly complex, completely perfect, holy in every way God and man. He is beyond our comprehension and yet is completely accessible.
But, what Jesus would do cannot be reduced to one simple always-the-right-answer idea. The truth is that Jesus, complex as He is, complicated as His calling is, could and would do any number of things in any given situation. Yet, we talk about Him as if we have a window to His own thoughts.
We would do better to humble ourselves and admit that we might not be exactly sure what Jesus would do in every situation, but we know that whatever He does is good, is holy, and is perfect in every way. Maybe instead of asking what Jesus would do, we should stop dealing in the world of hypotheticals and instead ask the tougher question: What would Jesus have me do?
And, then we start getting someplace in the run toward holiness.