What Would Jesus Do?

Justin Johnson

When Charles Sheldon asked the question “What would Jesus do?”, he used the four accounts of Jesus’ earthly ministry to find his answer: Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John.

It is easier to find Fat Albert drinking a Slim Fast than it is to find doctrine written about you in these four books written about Jesus’ ministry to the circumcision.

Careful doctrinal study tells us what Jesus did then is not something we are to do today.

Jesus was ‘made under the law’ according to Gal 4:4. As such it was not unusual to see him living and teaching according to the Old Testament law system.

For example:

He was circumcised. (Luke 2:27)
He was water baptized. (Matt 3:15)
He taught conditional forgiveness. (Matt 6:14)
He taught Levitical sacrifice. (Matt 8:4)
He taught every jot and tittle of the law. (Mat 5:17-18)
He taught tithing and offering incense. (Mat 23:23)
Eternal life comes from law obedience. (Mark 10:17-19)

He also practiced the separation between Jew and Gentile as established under the covenants with Abraham and Moses.

He told his disciples no to go to Gentiles. (Mat 10:5)
Canaanites are metaphorical “dogs”. (Mat 15:26)
“Salvation is of the Jews.” (John 4:22)
Healing comes through blessing Israel. (Luke 7:4-5)

Some things Jesus did no one dare do.

He came to cause division. (Luke 12:51)
He sold all he had and taught others also. (Mat 19:21)
He drove men out of the temple with cords. (John 2:15)

Also there are a lot of things that Jesus did that no one can do because only God could do them.

He was baptized without sin. (Mat 3:14-15)
He died without sin. (Luke 12:50)
He resurrected men from the dead. (John 11:43)
He walked on water. (John 6:19)
He forgave men their sins. (Mark 2:7)

As you can see there are a lot of things that Jesus did during his earthly ministry that you would be wrong to do today.

If you are looking for instructions from your Lord, then do not go back to his ministry to the circumcision. (Rom 15:8)  Go to his ministry to the Gentiles given to Paul the Apostle of the Gentiles.

Paul was declared by Christ to be the pattern for us who now believe. (1 Tim 1:16)

What would Jesus do today? He would tell you to heed the more excellent revelation that he gave to Paul instead of the message he gave Moses to Israel.

“Now to him that is of power to stablish you according to my gospel, and the preaching of Jesus Christ, according to the revelation of the mystery, which was kept secret since the world began…” – Rom 16:25

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Published: June 6, 2009
Last Modified: June 11, 2016
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