As we continue to seek the answer to the question in our lives- What Would Jesus Do? (the question we have been considering the last few weeks) there are a few last points of application I would like to make. First, it is very interesting to see who Jesus had His strongest words of condemnation for. In the 23rd chapter of Matthew’s gospel we see Jesus getting in the face of the scribes and Pharisees with powerful words of rebuke. It is interesting because these words are reserved not for tax collectors, sinners or prostitutes but for the “spiritual” elite of His day. Those who were in fact considered the spiritual authorities in Jerusalem and who counted themselves worthy of all of God’s blessings. In fact one example found in v. 27-28 will demonstrate what I am talking about when Jesus says “Woe to you, teachers of the law and Pharisees, you hypocrites! You are like whitewashed tombs, which look beautiful on the outside but on the inside are full of dead men’s bones and everything unclean. In the same way, on the outside you appear to people as righteous but on the inside you are full of hypocrisy and wickedness”. Whitewashed tombs of dead men’s bones were fighting words in the 1st century. No wonder they desired to put out Jesus’ light. I think we can see clearly that Jesus doesn’t ignore religious hypocrisy and religious phonies. Nor should we. Jesus demonstrates for us the importance of a truthful evaluation of the human heart condition. Beginning with our own hearts.
The other thought that struck me in considering the WWJD? question was the fact that sometimes our response will definitely be different than Jesus’ would be. Let me give you a recent example from my own life. Over the last 20 years or so my wife and I have been part of a Christian hospitality directory called Mennonite Your Way (MYW). The MYW directory is a directory of Christian families that open their homes to other Christian families to stay at an affordable rate. Traveling around with a family of 6 on a pastor’s salary I have had to find affordable (some would say cheap) places to say. MYW has been one of the keys to our many journeys. We host people a lot more in our current location than we did in the past and for the most part that has been a blessing as well. But recently (within the last month) I received an email from a fellow to stay for a night in June. What struck me as odd was that there was no background information and the fellow’s name had way too many letters without vowels. I emailed him back- “Where did you get my name from, where are you coming from and where are you going? One final question was raised, “Are you a Christian”? His response was that He had found my name in an old directory (2 directories ago) someone had given him and that “no” he was not a Christian. Keep in mind MYW is a Christian hospitality directory. I am certain that if Jesus was asked this question this person would have gotten an affirmative response. You see, Jesus knows everything about this person. But I do not. My concerns over safety issues trumped my desire to be a witness to this unsaved couple who wanted to spend the night with us. I found the request to be a little peculiar to feel safe having this couple stay with us. In these days of identity theft and so many other things happening, I am not sure I would have slept much with an unsaved couple I didn’t know sleeping under my roof.
I hope Jesus will forgive me that my response was probably different than His response would have been. And I hope you will continue to be challenged by the question WWJD?
In the King’s Service,
Pastor Rich Sivo