What Would Jesus Do? It’s a fine question as long as we remember one thing: We aren’t Jesus. Ok, I know most people know this, but we often forget it. We often see life as a maze and Jesus as our guide. Our thinking goes like this:
“Should I turn down the street marked anger or go left and walk down forgiveness lane? I Know I’ll ask Jesus. We’ll Jesus would forgive. Forgiveness lane it is!”
The problem with this thinking is that we cannot be Jesus. We cannot in our own strengthen reason ourselves to obedience by looking at what Jesus did. And we aren’t supposed to. As Jack Klumpenhower writes,
What a tyrant Jesus would be if he lived a perfect life and then as his main message, told us to be like him. What a setup for failure.”
Why Jesus Came
Thankfully, Jesus did not come to expand the law. He did not come to guilt trip a bunch of kids into behaving well. “You got mad and threw your bat…Yeah, Jesus wouldn’t have done that. You stop that now.” No, Jesus came to live a perfect life for us. He came to do what we could not. He came to fulfill the law. He was baptized, he was tempted, and he perfectly obeyed God in all things so that he could become our substitute.
And here is the great news, the heart of the gospel, God the father is “well pleased” with his son. God accepts Jesus as our substitute. Everything Jesus has done honors, glorifies, and satisfies God the father, including Jesus’s death on the cross. By pleasing God, Jesus recues us from our sins. If we believe on him, Jesus gives us his righteousness and then takes our sin. He pays the full penalty for our sin. Because God is well pleased with Jesus, He is well pleased with every man woman, and child who repents of their sin and embrace Jesus.
How To Respond to Jesus’ Life
The point of Jesus’ life is not to guilt trip kids into cleaning up their rooms. The point of Jesus’ life is to call kids and everyone to repent on believe in Jesus. As our savior, Jesus is perfect. He is God. He is fully deserving of our trust. Let’s truth him!
Obviously the kid that trusts Jesus will want to follow and obey him. The child that loves his savior we want to be like him. He will, like the disciples, leave this world behind and seek after Jesus. He will stop lying, cheating, and fighting and start reading, praying, and serving. But there is a huge difference between the kid who obeys and the kid who loves. One is trying to impress from a heart of shame and guilt Jesus and feels oppressed. The other is seeking to follow Jesus from a heart of love and experiences joy.
So instead of challenging our kids to think about WWJD, let’s challenge them to think about WDJD (What Did Jesus Do). He live and then died to pay for our sins. When our kids struggle with lying, let’s direct them back to the cross. Instead of shaming them into being good, let’s call them to repent and trust the God who saves, the God who makes us all things new.
Are you ready to living by WJD?