WWJD? That is the question!

  1. The question deciphered

There was a time in the UK when it was fashionable for keen Christians to wear a bracelet of small coloured beads that bore the cryptic question: WWJD?  It was an aide memoire to the wearer to ask in any challenging situation: What would Jesus do?

  1. But it’s an unhelpful question

A speed read through the Gospels will soon convince you that Jesus himself never followed any set pattern when responding to challenging crises, not did he set out to build a Methodology Church. In fact, the strictly truthful answer to the question as to what Jesus would do is very straightforward.

‘Truly, truly, I say to you, the Son can do nothing of his own accord, but only what he sees the Father doing. For whatever the Father does, that the Son does likewise. For the Father loves the Son and shows him all that he himself is doing’ (John 5:19-20; 8:38).

‘I can do nothing on my own. As I hear I judge, and my judgment is just, because I seek not my own will but the will of him who sent me’ (John 5:30).

Jesus consistently practised watching what his Father was doing at any given moment, and listening for what Father was saying about that challenge. And Father did not always do things according to a fixed schedule. This variety of God’s marvellous ways of working is best observed in how Jesus administered healing differently to sufferers with any particular illness. WIJDN? = What is Jesus doing now?

[] He healed one dumb man by exorcising him of a spirit (Matthew 9:32-34), but touched another dumb man’s tongue (Mark 7:31-37).

[] He healed one paralysed man by dealing first with his guilt (Matthew 9:1-7), yet he simply told another paralysed man to pick up is bed and start walking (John 5:1-9).

[] He touched the eyes of several blind men (Matthew 9:27-31; Mark 8:22-26), but he merely spoke a word to Bartimaeus (Mark 10:46-52). And in one instance he clearly said that sin was not an issue, made mud from soil and saliva, daubed it on the blind man’s eyelids before sending him to wash it off at the nearby pool of Siloam (John 9:1-7).

[] He raised Jairus’s dead twelve-year-old daughter by taking her hand and saying, ‘Get up, maiden’ (Matthew 9:23-26). He simply touched the funeral stretcher bearing the widow of Nain’s dead son (Luke 7:11-17), yet with gut-wrenching empathy (= Greek for intestines, 32). But, in the case of Lazarus, he delayed his arrival at the tomb for a couple of days and, weeping, he snorted (= Greek, 38) in anger at the predicament of the grieving, fatherless, husbandless sibling sisters, then called the dead man out of the cave with a loud voice without at any stage touching him (John 11:32-44).

  1. Act on the one plain answer to the question – ‘Walk in the Spirit’
  • Keep your ‘spiritual phone’ switched on and note when it buzzes.
  • Take time aside to look and listen to what the Spirit is saying and doing.
  • If in doubt, check it out with mature Christian advisers.
  • Then act on the instructions the Spirit is giving you.
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