But I do not account my life of any value nor as precious to myself, if only I may finish my course and the ministry that I received from the Lord Jesus, to testify to the gospel of the grace of God.
Here’s a question that bothers me: What Would Jesus Do?
Let me explain.
Remember all the WWJD? paraphernalia from the 90′s? Yeah, you do. The key chains… bracelets… necklaces… bumper stickers… license plates… Who hasn’t seen the popular acronym before? I couldn’t help but laugh when a few months ago I stumbled upon the old WWJD? key chain that faithfully held my first car key my sophomore year of high school. What made this especially funny to me is that I wasn’t even a Christian then. I thought I was a Christian (but only by default, since I went to a Christian church); however, it would be another few years until I truly believed upon the gospel and came to radical saving faith in Christ.
So, with key chain in hand, I asked myself: What was it that inclined an unbelieving Chris Poblete to dig the “WWJD?” phrase at the time? Perhaps it was an attractive ideology to live by?
That’s when I realized that, though totally well-intentioned, WWJD? was the wrong question to be asking myself.
I don’t think it’s a bad question… not at all. However, it does miss the point. Hugely. “What would Jesus do?” sells Jesus Christ as an ideology… and idea for how to make good decisions for living a proper life. It sells us short of knowing the Gospel. He becomes our friendship model, our self-help mantra, our ’5 steps to a better marriage’ and our ’10 steps to worry-free living.’
But Jesus came to bring the Gospel. And the Gospel is good news… not good advice.
Now that I’m saved, I understand that God did not send His Son just to merely teach me the right things to do in this life…
Jesus didn’t come to make me more religious and spiritual. He didn’t come so that I would be overcome by emotional religious piety and experiences. He didn’t come so that I would vote for family values and lowered taxes. He didn’t come so that I would passionately serve in the latest cause, raising awareness for health pandemics and social injustices. He didn’t come to teach me to be accepting and open-minded to everyone else, everywhere and no matter what (unless they are not as “open-minded” as I am). He didn’t come to make me a better “people person” with a charming smile, a good handshake, and polite manners.
I am not saying that these are all bad (though some are). It’s just that Jesus didn’t come because I needed the perfect example on how to do good “Jesus-things”.
He came because I needed a Savior.
The Jesus Christwe need is the Great Reedemer—the Savior King. This King of Kings showed God’s own love for us by leaving His great throne in heaven to live a life that we were supposed to have lived, die a death that we are otherwise condemned to die, and rise victoriously from the grave in triumphant victory over sin, Satan and death. He came to free us! He absorbed the wrath of God and ushers us not into a life of reconditioned morals but, rather, into a life marked by God’s irresistible grace, the forgiveness of sins, and the free gift of salvation.
That’s what Jesus did.
“… he was wounded for our transgressions; he was crushed for our iniquities; upon him was the chastisement that brought us peace, and with his stripes we are healed” –Isaiah 53:5
“For Christ also suffered once for sins, the righteous for the unrighteous, that he might bring us to God” –1 Peter 3:18
This is a message worth sharing. It’s a life that he provides—a new life–not a lifestyle. It’s a Gospel that saves. The good news of Jesus Christ is not about what He would do; it’s about what He did. And that’s why I say the question WWJD? bothers me. It misses the point.
The new question we should be asking is:
What DID Jesus Do?
… let us ask ourselves daily. The answer is good news worth remembering.