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What Did Jesus Do?

It has often been suggested that the best way to make a decision is to answer the question, "What would Jesus do?”  Certainly, this is a good approach to making choices, for if you will always do what Jesus would do, then you will always do well.  In recent years, this idea has been popularized and even marketed.  The letters "WWJD” have been printed on clothing and engraved on jewelry as a means of reminding people to consider the Lord as they are faced with daily decisions.  While making merchandise of the Lord’s name is not commendable, constantly keeping Jesus in your thoughts is a wise practice.

Considering what Jesus would do is fine way to guide your choices, but there is a more focused, exact, and Scriptural approach to this manner of decision making.  The better question to ask when making a decision is, "What did Jesus do?”  This question is better because it removes any speculation from your answer.  Rather than imagining what Jesus might do in a given situation, you can go back and read in the Bible what He actually did when faced with a similar decision.  Better still, you can always make the right choice by answering the question, "What did Jesus say?”  By this approach, you can always find a guiding principle in the words of Christ even if you cannot find a parallel example in His life.

The Scriptures were written at least in part to provide us with the guiding examples and principles of Christ’s life and words.  For instance, when Luke referred to his record of Christ, he wrote, "The first account I composed, Theophilus, about all that Jesus began to do and teach, until the day when He was taken up to heaven, after He had by the Holy Spirit given orders to the apostles whom He had chosen” (Acts 1:1-2).  The express purpose of Luke’s writing was to record what "Jesus began to do and teach,” for this is the knowledge that we need most of all.  These things are written so that we may believe in Jesus (John 20:30-31) and also become imitators of Him (1Cor. 11:1).

As disciples (learners) of Christ, we are to emulate His behavior.  Notice that when Jesus had washed His disciples’ feet, He said, "For I gave you an example that you also should do as I did to you…If you know these things, you are blessed if you do them” (John 13:15, 17).  In this context, Jesus taught His disciples how to be servants of one another by getting down on His knees and washing their feet.  This is not a mandate for the practice of foot-washing today, but it is an overt demonstration of service.  Christ’s expectations are that we should follow the example of service that He left for us.  We don’t have to speculate what He might do, for we already know what He did.  "If you know these things, you are blessed if you do them.”

In the Scriptures’ accounts of Christ’s life, we have many examples that should guide our decisions.  When faced with temptation, you should consider how Christ dealt with temptations in Matthew 4:1-11.  What did Jesus do, and what did He say?  He answered Satan’s overtures with the word of God, and He did not sin (Heb. 4:15).  When having to choose between your own interests and the interests of others, you should consider how Christ chose between His own comfort and welfare and our salvation by the will of the Father.  What did Jesus do?  The answer is in Philippians 2:5-8:

Have this attitude in yourselves which was also in Christ Jesus, who, although He existed in the form of God, did not regard equality with God a thing to be grasped, but emptied Himself, taking the form of a bond-servant, and being made in the likeness of men.  Being found in appearance as a man, He humbled Himself by becoming obedient to the point of death, even death on a cross.

If you suffer unjustly for the cause of Christ, then you should consider how Christ stood before His accusers.  What did Jesus do, and what did He say?  Consider 1Peter 2:21-24:

For you have been called for this purpose, since Christ also suffered for you, leaving you an example for you to follow in His steps, who committed no sin, nor was any deceit found in His mouth; and while being reviled, He did not revile in return; while suffering, He uttered no threats, but kept entrusting Himself to Him who judges righteously; and He Himself bore our sins in His body on the cross, so that we might die to sin and live to righteousness; for by His wounds you were healed.

In each of these examples, we know what Jesus did and what He said.  By this knowledge, we know what we should do.  Again, "if you know these things, you are blessed if you do them.”

Therefore, commit yourself to the study and application of Christ’s deeds and words so that you will be well-equipped to make every decision in life.  Knowing these things will give you clear guidelines whereby you can always make the right choices.  You will not have to speculate about what Jesus might do because you will know exactly what He did and said.  If you will dedicate yourself to being an imitator of Christ’s behavior and a doer of His words, then you will have bold confidence to always make the right decision.

Stacey E. Durham



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