Some of us can probably remember when the “WWJD” bracelets were a big thing. The idea was to wear a bracelet that would hopefully remind us in difficult situations to emulate Jesus in the situation. I’m not sure how effective they were for those that chose to wear the jewelry, but the idea is commendable.
We should seek to emulate Jesus at all times. Our lives should be a continuous striving to be less like our sinful selves and more like our Savior Jesus.
There are certain things, however, we don’t need to ask “What would Jesus do?” We have the gospels, so there are some things we already know what Jesus did. To be like Christ, we simply need to follow His example, not make conjecture as to what He would do in that context.
Two of the things we know already how Jesus did are evangelism and disciple-making. We can look at His example and build a philosophy of both from the way Jesus did them. We can see the way Jesus interacted with those He was discipling and the lost and we can increase our effectiveness simply by following His example.
Yet in many cases we do the exact opposite of what Jesus did. We were told to be in the world but not of it, but because we lack self control and would rather practice complete abstinence instead of moderation, we have removed ourselves from the world and decided not to be in OR of it. Except, in that act we become more like the world than we realize; selfish, self-centered, and disobedient to God.
Jesus made a habit of drawing the undesirables:
Tax collectors and other notorious sinners often came to listen to Jesus teach. This made the Pharisees and teachers of religious law complain that he was associating with such sinful people—even eating with them!“Luke 15:1-2 (NLT)
There is a reason tax collectors and “other notorious sinners” sought out Jesus. It’s because he didn’t spend all His time and energy condemning and spewing hatred at them. Jesus chose, instead, to befriend and show love to these notorious sinners.
The Son of Man, on the other hand, feasts and drinks, and you say, ‘He’s a glutton and a drunkard, and a friend of tax collectors and other sinners!’ But wisdom is shown to be right by the lives of those who follow it.”Luke 7:34-35 (NLT)
This type of evangelistic philosophy even caused John the Baptist to question if Jesus was the Messiah because of the radical change it was from how they had always lived. One who was important or holy did not associate with those of lesser class or of a sinful lifestyle.
Yet Jesus showed us the light is never afraid of the darkness. Light never flees when darkness is presented. The opposite is true. Darkness flees in the presence of light.
Some of us would struggle to remember the last time we befriended a “notorious sinner.” Some of us have worn, with pride, the badge of honor that says we NEVER associate with undesirables. Some of us are fine with being completely ineffective for the kingdom.
Who is God calling you to befriend? What notorious sinner is God calling you to love? Where is an area of darkness the Holy Spirit is calling you to enter and illuminate as the Light of the World?
Don’t wait for tomorrow. Tomorrow may never come…