What Would Jesus Do?
Text: Romans 13:8-14 Today’s key verse: But put on the Lord Jesus Christ, and make no provision for the flesh, to fulfill its lusts. – v.14 Listen to our lesson to below: Unable to play today’s lesson? You can read today’s lesson below Introduction There is so much going on in our world today, with many decisions being made that may start to affect the way you, as a Christian, think. People have began to tell Christians what they should think, and how they should feel about many things taking place. It seems that the world is trying to encourage …
Text: Romans 13:8-14
Today’s key verse:
But put on the Lord Jesus Christ, and make no provision for the flesh, to fulfill its lusts. – v.14
Listen to our lesson to below:
Unable to play today’s lesson? You can read today’s lesson below
There is so much going on in our world today, with many decisions being made that may start to affect the way you, as a Christian, think. People have began to tell Christians what they should think, and how they should feel about many things taking place. It seems that the world is trying to encourage Christians to turn away from the things that they accept and believe so that we can be accepted by the world. I am starting to see more and more people invoking Jesus’ name in saying what he would do and what He would say about our world today. Let’s take a look at our Savior and ponder these two questions: what would Jesus do? What would Jesus say about our world today?
Why is knowing what Jesus would do or say important for us, as Christians, to know? It is important for us to know what He would do or say because, as Christians, we are to carry ourselves as Christ did – we are to be Christ-like. What should call on Jesus’ many teachings. Are you able to name some of Jesus’ teachings? What did Jesus teach? In Luke 6:20-45, we can see many of the lessons that Jesus taught which included love for enemies, praying for those that use you, to give, to treat others the way you want to be treated, to be merciful, not to judge, not to condemn, and to forgive. The questions we, as Christians, have to ask ourselves is, are we truly following Jesus’ teachings? Not only are we following his teachings but, are we putting Jesus’ teachings to use? What do our actions say about how we treat all people. We Christians, it seems, have started to stray away from many of the lessons that Jesus taught – namely having love. Jesus taught to have love for our enemies, and to even pray for them, yet we curse those who curse us instead of choosing to bless or forgive them. We consider our enemies to be sinners, and we have become combative in our nature towards sinners instead of having a loving nature.
How did Jesus interact with sinners? Was Jesus combative with sinners? One may argue that he whipped and turned tables in the temple, but Jesus was not combative with sinners. In Luke 5:31-32, you will read that Jesus came into the world for the sinners. Jesus called for all sinners to repent from their ways, and to turn back unto God. Jesus had a love for sinners that we find hard to comprehend. He sat with sinners. He ate with sinners. He healed sinners. He forgave sinners. One of the greatest examples of the Lord’s forgiveness towards sinners can be found in Luke 18:9-14, where the Pharisee and the tax collector pray to the Lord. The Pharisee put down the tax collector, within his prayer, because he thought of the man as nothing but a lowly sinner. The Pharisee prayed himself up by boasting and bragging about the “spiritual” things he had done. The tax collector, on the other hand, prayed to God knowing that he was a sinner but sought forgiveness. Jesus said it was the tax collector who went home that day justified – not the self righteous Pharisee.
You see, we ought to learn a lesson in how we choose to think of people. Who are sinners? Are we sinners? At one point in time we Christians were sinners but, through our belief in Jesus, and God’s love, we have put on righteousness. Once you accept Christ as your Savior you have crucified the old sinful man and become new. Does this mean we are now better than the sinner, and should no longer care about them? Does this give us the right to dictate our beliefs onto the sinner? How should we treat sinners? Did Jesus dictate to others? Jesus was respectful to all men, regardless of whether they believed in who He said He was or not. Jesus taught that all men could be forgiven if they repented. Jesus did not bash sinners. Jesus did not simply tell a sinner they would go to hell. Jesus taught that there was a way to heaven if you believed on Him.
How do we act towards sinners? We have to be real about this and take a look into the mirror and ask whether or not we are really following the example that Jesus set. We do not show sinners a path to righteousness. We are so combative to sinners that we leave them in hell and don’t show them a way from hell. We approach sinners with nothing but hate in our hearts, and hate returns nothing but hate. We choose only to love the ones we like, and who are like us. We choose only to to forgive those who we like. Are we wrong for doing this? Yes! Jesus did not isolate Himself away from sinners. Jesus did not stay in His little bubble, and only talk to those He thought would like Him. We have to truly understand what love is, and accept that we must truly follow the path that Jesus set for us.
We must also understand that sin is sin, and a sinner is a sinner that can be redeemed. We try to pick on one man because of his sin, but we must understand, as said in verse 9 of our text, adultery, killing, stealing, bearing false witness, and covetousness is all sin. We try to bash one sin but must accept that even we are not perfect. We should love our neighbor as we love ourselves. Paul said it best in Romans 12:18
If it is possible, as much as depends on you, live peaceably with all men. – Romans 12:18 NKJV
How should we treat sinners? Peace and love starts with us, as it is said in Romans 12:18. Does this mean we should rollover and accept their ways? Definitely not. Remember, Jesus confronted sinners and told sinners to repent and turn back to the Lord. Jesus did not accept sin; no matter what the sin was Jesus did not accept sin. Jesus is not going to accept at the final judgement as well. At the same time, it is asked of us to learn how to live peaceably with all men. What are we to do then? How are we to confront the sinner? We confront the sinner out of love and a concern for their soul as Jesus did. We must teach Jesus and what He can do, but then the decision of whether they accept Christ or not falls onto the sinner. We cannot dictate or command that people believe in Jesus – it is their decision. At the same time, we must also not allow sinners to corrupt our tree and the fruit thereof. As it is said in Romans 13:14 – put on the Lord Jesus Christ, and make no provision for the flesh, to fulfill its lusts.
We cannot conform to the thinking of the world. The world is going to ridicule you for what you believe in, but you cannot worry about the ridiculing of the world. I watched just a few weeks ago as the family members, and church members, of Emanuel AME forgave Dylann Roof. Many people complained that they should not be forgiving that murderer, but our brothers and sisters in Christ stood by their faith, and practiced the toughest lesson of all of Jesus’ lessons – love and prayer for enemies. Let me say that I am still very proud that they stood by their faith, and did not conform to the “eye for an eye” mentality that is growing stronger and stronger in our world. Are we, as Christians, wrong for loving our enemies and forgiving our enemies? What would Jesus do? What would Jesus say about our world?
Jesus would tell us that there is not enough love in this world. There is not enough respect for others in this world today. This world has become all too selfish, hateful, and full of greed to even consider having love for your neighbor. As a Christian, you are to rise above the outlook of worldly thoughts. As a Christian, you are to hold to the standards that Jesus set through teachings and the example he set through living. When Jesus was up on the cross, did He not ask for forgiveness for all of those that were around mocking Him? Jesus prayed forgiveness for the men that whipped Him. Jesus prayed forgiveness for the ones that nailed Him to the cross. Jesus prayed forgiveness for those ones that did not believe He was the Son of God. Jesus prayed forgiveness for the ones that mocked and spat on Him. Jesus set an example that we, as Christians, fall short of – love.
It is important to understand that we must learn to love. We need to know love when it comes to a person’s soul. We need to know love when it is time for us to back off and not dictate our ways. We also need to know love to set an example for the sinners. At the same time sinners must understand that we are not going to conform to worldly thoughts. Learn to approach all people out of love. As it is said in verse 10 of our text – love does no harm, works no ill. What would Jesus do or say about our world today? He call for the world to repent and turn away from evil – he would not accept sin. Jesus has the power to forgive all men of their sin – we, as Christians, do not have that authority. We must remember that Jesus is going to execute that power and authority over sin one day. Put on Jesus Christ and, if it be possible, live peaceably with all men.