Christian Living

Should We Always Do What Jesus Would Do?

Author Alan Shlemon Published on 10/21/2020

WWJD? Should we always do what Jesus would do? I think the answer is obvious: No.

Don’t get me wrong. I love Jesus. He’s God. There’s no person who is a greater arbiter of what’s right and wrong. There’s no person who could do better than he would do. Generally speaking, we should take our cues from his life and public ministry.

But if we are honest, we shouldn’t—and can’t—always do what Jesus would do. Here are three examples where Jesus did something we should not do.

Jesus made certain claims. In John 10:30, Jesus said, “I and the Father are one.” Newsflash: Jesus is God, and you are not. No offense. I’m sure you’re trying to be godly, but that only goes so far. Don’t say things like that.

Jesus had certain prerogatives. He cited Mosaic laws and “upgraded them.” For example, Jesus affirmed that adultery is sin but then provided his own addition: “But I say to you that everyone who looks at a woman with lust for her has already committed adultery with her in his heart” (Matt. 5:27–28). Jesus can modify divine commands. You can’t. Deal with it.

Jesus had a different mission. His job was to be a ransom for many (Matt. 20:28). No person on the planet should attempt to participate in the plan he carried out. He emptied himself, took on human nature, and willingly went to the cross (Phil. 2:5–8) in order to fulfill a grand redemptive plan. Though we’re also involved in the Father’s plan, we don’t play the same role. Christ is the redeemer. We are his ambassadors (2 Cor. 5:20). Stay in your lane.

The WWJD question should prompt us not to do what Jesus did, but to answer that question exactly the way Jesus did. What would Jesus do? He would do the will of the Father (Jn. 6:38). We should do the same.