What Would Jesus Do
There is actually a book by that name. Do you ever ask yourself that question? I did just this afternoon. I was on my way into a grocery store in Steinbach and there beside the door I was planning to go in was a beggar asking everyone who passed him by for some change. My first thoughts were, “This is Steinbach, not Winnipeg. What is he doing here?” Rather than ask myself what would Jesus do in this situation, I started veering over to the door that was furthest away from him. I tried to avoid him. But as I did my shopping, I couldn’t get my mind off of him. When I was ready to leave, I thought about choosing an exit that wouldn’t take me past him. Then I actually thought about what Jesus would do and I knew that avoiding the beggar wasn’t it. I decided to go through the door nearest him and give him all the change I had. I also asked him how he was doing. I wish I had done more. I’m sure Jesus would have.
Jesus often surprised the people around him, especially his critics, by how he treated people. You can read about some of those encounters in the Bible. In John chapter four, you will find that he spoke to a Samaritan woman who had a bad reputation. Jesus was Jewish and most Jewish people wouldn’t talk to a Samaritan, and certainly not one who had done the bad things she had done.
In Luke 19, you can read about Jesus meeting a tax collector named Zacchaeus. Most people hated tax collectors because they worked for the Romans who ruled over them. Tax collectors were also known for cheating people and charging them more tax than they actually owed. Jesus invited himself to Zacchaeus’ house and made himself right at home.
On another occasion he healed a man with a terrible skin disease called leprosy. He actually touched the man to heal him. You can read about it in Mark 1:40-45.
I hope the next time I meet a beggar, someone who is sick, or mentally ill or disfigured in some way, the first thing I’ll think about is, “What would Jesus do?”, rather than what I would do. And then I hope I do what I know Jesus would do.