Growing up, there was a popular book that people raved over and referenced often. It was called In His Steps, a book originally written in 1896, but one that helped to fuel a Christian phrase much later in the 1990s, causing people to say in many areas of their lives, “What would Jesus do?”
Christians poured over this book, even having small-group discussions over this subject. They jumped on the WWJD theme in droves. Bumper stickers, T-shirts and bracelets all echoed this message. Most of the goal was helping Christians walk more like Christ by simply asking, “What would Jesus do?” in each particular situation.
Obviously, it’s a great question to ask. People really need to stop and consider, “What would Jesus actually do?” Since the goal is to manifest Christlikeness in our lives, it would help to focus in on how He saw life, how he made decisions and how he responded to people.
Yet we often don’t answer this question accurately, because we avoid the obvious things he DID do that we glaze over in the Scriptures. Many of the things Jesus actually did went against all the religious mores of the day. Most likely, if our Lord walked the planet today, He’d offend the current system of Christianity.
Believers may say they want to be like Jesus. Although we wouldn’t like to admit it, there are a number of things that Jesus would do that would make most Christians really squirm.
1. He would cut past your shallow living and get right to the heart. He would never condemn you, but His grid of thinking and purity would expose the surface religious formality in your life. You would be drawn to Him with all the questions of your life. But instead of just beating around the bush, He would get to the heart of what is going on in your life. He’d address the brokenness you seek to avoid, He’d want to focus on your motives, not just on what you show outwardly. Many of our busy plans and impressive programs would be put in perspective, as our Lord would revisit the priorities of God’s heart for people.
2. He’d tell you to lay it all down. Today we can live half-heartedly and think it’s acceptable. Jesus would challenge that and never make it convenient to enter into the kingdom. He would say things like, “Sell everything you have, sell your business, leave everything and follow Me.”
He would do this to the point of even offending you. Yet He would rather offend you up front, so that your loyalty to the kingdom would be more deeply settled. He’s looking for covenant relationship, so He wouldn’t try to make this easier or more convenient.
3. He would cast out evil spirits. Our current culture spends a lot of time counseling issues that really need to be cast out. Jesus dealt with a lot of issues with spiritual confrontation that caused devils to shake. People were freed from mental struggles, bodies were healed and regions shifted when demonic obstacles were confronted.
It boggles me how modern culture has found theological ways to remove demonic influence from our grid. I remember, years ago, sitting in a class that was supposed to be on spiritual warfare, yet nothing in it actually taught the class how to overcome areas of their lives with true spiritual warfare tools. I cringed when the teacher said, “Evil spirits, like in the Bible, don’t happen like that today. Maybe just in Third World countries.” I wanted to jump up and scream, “Yeah cause they are way more sophisticated in America! The more they hide, the more people don’t address them!” It’s incredibly helpful for the enemy when Christians don’t have any grid for actually overcoming the works of the devil in their life. Jesus wouldn’t play around with it.
4. He would address your broken heart. In the days of the Gospels, Jesus addressed the need for people to have their hearts healed. They didn’t accept it, and people resist that same thing today. Most of the church, leaders and nonleaders, ignore their brokenness and just want God to grow our ministry machines. Meanwhile, the issues of the heart get neglected. Our families suffer and relationships get whittled down to pawns we use to build our programs. Issues of the heart take getting real, slowing down and facing things. Jesus was always about getting to the heart issues, for that brought the greatest change to the world.
5. He would not fulfill your demands. You would look for Him and He might disappear to spend time with the Father. You might ask Him something, only for Him to tell you a parable that dealt with a different issue. He would most likely say something that cut past your question and into another issue. You might ask Him to heal your daughter, only to hear Him say something offensive to you. Giving in to your every demand would dim the clarity of the Father’s voice in His life.
6. He might ask for the smoking section. When entering a public place, He may walk over to the areas many Christians avoid. He wouldn’t go to participate in their habits, but would engage people who are often ripe and ready. Sometimes lost people can be more open to truth than those who say they are already believers. He would be accused of hanging out with drunkards and addicts, with a goal of reaching those whom society had abandoned.
7. He would arrive late to your funeral. This one messes with me the most. I have done a number of funerals and don’t think I’m ready to just arrive based on a different timeline.
This one floors me. Jesus arrives at his friend’s funeral days late! I don’t know if I would be ready for the backlash. But He was.
He doesn’t care what people think. He loves people enough to die for them, but He has no time to let people being upset with Him get in the way of the Father’s agenda.
8. He would mess up your funeral. Every time I go to a funeral and walk up to the casket, I say to God, “Would this be a good time to BE LIKE JESUS?”
If He was to attend our funeral, after arriving crazy late, He would then invite the dead person to come out of the casket and stand in front of everyone … alive! We rejoice in this, but to be honest, it would probably upset many people.
9. Do something where you’d think He has anger issues. He may get firm with you. He may show some intensity. Although He’d always be under control, there may be some tables that get flipped and some religious folk who would be rebuked. He tell us to either be hot or cold, but being lukewarm makes Him puke.
Overcomers would rise up with His passion and change the world. Passive people would cower back and say this Messiah has anger issues.
Question: What else do you think Jesus would do that believers would struggle with?
Mark DeJesus founded Turning Hearts Ministries, a ministry dedicated to inside out transformation, in 2006. He also founded Transformed You, a communication platform for his teachings, writing and broadcasts designed to encourage people in their journey of transformation.
For the original article, visit markdejesus.com.