Almost anywhere you turn, you'll see it. Bracelets, necklaces, wrist
bands, WWJD. What Would Jesus Do. A wonderful idea, bring Christ into our
daily lives, make Him a part of our every day decision making process. One
problem though. What Jesus would do may very well depend on how you view Him.
Or more to the point, how you were taught to view Him.
"Jesus was a social revolutionary!!!!" If one sees Christ as some sort
of revolutionary, then one can say that Jesus would forcibly divest the rich
of their wealth and redistribute it among the poor. (This is no joke, many
priests, theologians, etc. advocate this) This puts Christ in the ranks of
the Zealots, the social revolutionaries of His day. But Christ was opposed to
this 'politicization' of the 'Good News'.
"Jesus said to him, 'If you would be perfect, go, sell what you possess and
give to the poor, and you will have treasure in Heaven; and come, follow Me.'
When the young man heard this he went away sorrowful; for he had great
possessions" (Matthew 19:21-22).
Note here, Christ didn't 'demand' he divest himself of his possessions.
Nor force him to sell all he had. He asked him too. What would Christ do if
the Apostles jumped the man and 'robbed' him of his possessions, even if they
then sold them and gave them to the poor?
"Then he said to them, 'Render therefore to Caesar the things that are
Caesar's, and to God the things that are God's'." (Matthew 22:21).
"And Jesus went with them. When He was not far from the house, the
centurion sent friends to Him, saying to Him, 'Lord, do not trouble Yourself,
for I am not worthy to have You come under my roof; therefore I did not
presume to come to You. But say the word, and let my servant shall be healed'." (Luke 7:6-7)
If Christ was a social revolutionary, is it likely He would say and do such
things? Rome was the 'cruel, occupier' of Israel. Wouldn't a social
revolutionary oppose them at every opportunity? Wouldn't He take His 'Good
News' to the political spectrum to force change?
This is what many Jews of His day thought He was, a King who would expel
Rome and re-instate Israel as a 'world power' equal (at least) to Rome.
We are told by many that Christ merely 'winks' at sin. That with Christ
the 'law' (of the Old Testament) no longer applies to us. Yet Christ said:
"Think not that I have come to abolish the law and the prophets; I have
come not to abolish them but to fulfil them. For truly, I say to you, till
Heaven and earth pass away, not an iota, not a dot, will pass from the law
until all is accomplished. Whoever then relaxes one of the least of these
commandments and teaches men so, shall be called least in the kingdom of
Heaven; but he who does them and teaches them shall be called great in the
kingdom of Heaven" (Matthew 5:17-19).
It isn't that the law has changed or is abolished, but that we have a
clearer understanding of it, through Christ. The Lord 'taught' His people in
Old Testament through His Prophets. But from Christ, we get a clearer
understanding of their meaning. Not that certain sins deserving death means
we have the right to kill them, but that those sins bring a spiritual death.
They 'die' by committing those sins.
Though St. Paul speaks of not being 'under' the law with Christ, it isn't
that we can ignore it. Rather, we follow it because it is written in our
hearts. While under the law, we followed it for fear of punishment, with it
in our hearts, we follow it because we fear hurting the Lord. St. Maximillian
Kolbe reportedly said, "I fear nothing except sin." For him it was because
sin hurt Our Lord and Our Lady.
So, what would Jesus do when confronted by sin? Well, we're 'told' to do
nothing, since Christ said "Judge not, lest you be judged." This is
essentially approving of the sin by silence, or even defense.
"And He said to His disciples, 'Temptations to sin are sure to come; but
woe to him by whom they come! It would be better for him if a millstone were
hung round his neck and he were cast into the sea, than that he should cause
one of these little ones to sin'." (Luke 17:1-2).
He also said, "Take heed to yourselves; if your brother sins, rebuke him,
and if he repents, forgive him; and if he sins against you seven times in the
day, and turns to you seven times, and says, 'I repent,' you must forgive him"
We hear it taught that Christ opposed established religions, the
institution of the Church. That 'WE' are the Church. Yet Christ said: "Then
said Jesus to the crowds and to his disciples, 'The scribes and the Pharisees
sit on Moses' seat; so practice and observe whatever they tell you, but not
what they do; for they preach, but do not practice'." (Matthew 23:1-3).
Christ is confirming that the Scribes and Pharisees are the 'hierarchy' of
the Jewish faith, that they are the successors of Moses as teachers of that
faith. Not that all of them are good examples of Judiaism, nor even bad.
Christ also, though He is God, followed the 'rules' of His faith every step of
He was circumcised, bar mitzvah, observed the Sabbath and celebrated the
Passover. Went to the Temple to pray, etc. In short, every 'rule' of
Judiaism, He followed and observed. Not to mention that He 'built' His Church
on Peter (ref. Matt. 16:16-19) , and exhorted His Apostles to 'teach all
nations' (ref. Matt.28:18-20)
In short, maybe the WWJD bracelets should come with instructions. Because
one first needs to know Jesus before they can truly determine what He would