What would Jesus do?
We all know the phrase, I’m sure. It was a famous phrase in Christian society for quite some time. I remember rolling my eyes as a teen when my mom, who sported about five bands with WWJD printed on them, would say, “Shi, what would Jesus do?”. As a new Christian in my late twenties, I often heard this phrase from my husband, queue eye roll. But, I implore you to revisit this phrase in a time when political polarization is rising, and conservative values seem to be more blatantly under attack.
We should strive to be like Jesus. Who better than Jesus as someone should we aim to personify? Jesus approached the world in a kind, compassionate, and loving way. He loved all people and only despised the bondage of sin that held them. Sounds easy enough, right? Well, I was thinking this morning about how I am supposed to respond when someone’s demons are bothered by my light. There are two characteristics of boldness that Jesus had that we would all do well to practice, especially at times like these.
Jesus knew when to be outspokenly bold.
Let’s take a look at John 2:13-16.
It was nearly time for the Jewish Passover celebration, so Jesus went to Jerusalem. In the Temple area, he saw merchants selling cattle, sheep, and doves for sacrifices; he also saw dealers at tables exchanging foreign money. Jesus made a whip from some ropes and chased them all out of the Temple. He drove out the sheep and cattle, scattered the money changers’ coins over the floor, and turned over their tables. Then, going over to the people who sold doves, he told them, “Get these things out of here. Stop turning my Father’s house into a marketplace!”
Jesus was bold and outspoken about things that were happening that were wrong. He was not going to stand by and let the money changers defile his Father’s house. Jesus was not afraid of upsetting people, even during Passover Celebration. What they were doing was wicked, and he called them out for it. We need to be bold like Jesus. As Christians, we should not let fear keep us from speaking out about things that are an abomination in the eyes of the Lord. It is up to us to speak the truth in this world, lovingly, of course, but boldly.
Jesus knew when to be silently bold.
Now let’s look at Luke 23:8-12.
Herod was delighted at the opportunity to see Jesus because he had heard about him and had been hoping for a long time to see him perform a miracle. He asked Jesus question after question, but Jesus refused to answer. Meanwhile, the leading priests and the teachers of religious law stood there shouting their accusations. Then Herod and his soldiers began mocking and ridiculing Jesus. Finally, they put a royal robe on him and sent him back to Pilate. (Herod and Pilate, who had been enemies before, became friends that day.)
I always used to think that not saying something would make me weak, but one of the most important lessons I learned from Jesus is how to know when to speak and when to be silent. Silence does not mean you are weak; it can be very bold. It means knowing when your words are going to fall on deaf ears. Jesus knew what kind of man Herod was. He knew Herod’s heart, and he knew he would waste his words and his time. Sometimes we have to take the ridicule and mockery. Jesus did, and he said nothing. I can picture Jesus in my mind, standing there silent. So very strong and bold.
We do not know every man’s heart as Jesus does. We cannot attempt to have this kind of wisdom and strength on our own, but we do not have to. We have the Holy Spirit, and we need His discernment. We need to surrender our fear, and we need to offer Him control of our emotions. He will let us know when to be loud and bold and when to be silent and fierce. We are not alone, we are many, and God is on our side.
Be bold, brothers and sisters!