A friend of mine has a game where players try to predict who would be most likely to do or say a certain thing. It works best, she said, with people who already know one another very well. Strangers wouldn’t have any basis for such decisions.
So what about all the people who go around saying that “Jesus would (or wouldn’t) do” this or that?
Here are a few of the things I found on the Internet that people claim Jesus would do or be:
He would have been a biker.
He would have been a proud feminist.
He would be a socialist.
He would hate Christians.
He would go around making computers work.
And some people were quite sure Jesus wouldn’t do these things:
Have a mortgage.
Wear sunglasses on the back of his head.
Teach an eternal hell.
Call the Bible God’s word.
Do something violent, like chase moneychangers out of the Temple with a whip.
But how can people claim to know what Jesus would or wouldn’t do unless they actually know Him well?
And if they don’t know care enough about Him to cultivate His acquaintance, why are they concerned about what He would do?
Could it be that they are fashioning their own “Jesus” to mirror their own worldview and then using that false image to claim Jesus’ endorsement of their cause, regardless of whether it would be consistent with His character and consistent with Scripture?
This seems to have been the strategy of the Jesus Seminar, a controversial group of two hundred scholars who decided among themselves that Jesus actually said only 18 percent of what the gospels attribute to him!
If we really want to know what Jesus would do, we should go to the nearest source. Read & study the gospels, learn who Jesus is, where he came from, what motivated him. We will find that his motivations were
to show us God’s holiness and love,
to teach the truth,
to save sinful humankind,
to please the Father.
These were His motivation for the shocking, unheard-of things that he did—leaving audiences aghast, angry, astonished, awestruck, appalled, delighted…and many of them eternally changed.
Who else would or could…
…declare that lust is equivalent to adultery, and hate is equivalent to murder?
…pronounce a paralytic forgiven and then proceed to heal him with just a word?
…forgive a sinful woman and then warn her not to sin again?
…choose a notorious swindler for his dinner companion with the result that this guy decides to return four times as much as he extorted?
…exorcise demons, heal the sick, raise the dead, and then tell people not to tell anyone?
…spend long hours alone praying while crowds were clamoring to see him?
…dismiss manmade religious regulations as worthless?
…and yes, yell and upset the moneychangers’ tables, release their animals and drive them out of the Temple?
…allow Himself to be arrested, flogged, and executed in the most painful and humiliating way, taking the punishment that you and I deserve for our sin so that we might be acceptable to God!
I invite you to read the authorized biography (actually, you have your choice of four—Matthew, Mark, Luke and John) and see what kinds of things he really does and does not do. Let him speak for himself!