W.W.J.D. Some among us may remember this popular phrase from some time ago. You may even have wristbands or key tags with this tagline lying around somewhere in your home. For those who do not know, W.W.J.D. stands for “What would Jesus do?” It was not uncommon then to hear Christians asking, “What would Jesus do?” It acts as a good reminder for Jesus’ disciples to act in a manner that would demonstrate the love of Christ through our daily actions and speech.
W.W.J.D. is consistent with the Bible’s teaching. As the apostle Paul writes, “I have been crucified with Christ and I no longer live, but Christ lives in me. The life I now live in the body, I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me” (Gal 2:20). Christ lives in those he had redeemed; the redeemed are to live in imitation of Christ. But before knowing what Jesus will do, we must first be perceiving the world through the lens of Christ.
I wonder often: How did Jesus look at the tax collectors and prostitutes? How did he see Nicodemus and his Pharisee counterparts? How did he feel toward the Samaritan woman at the well? Or the death of Lazarus? Or at the state of creation today? How is he seeing that brother or sister who is going through an extended period of grief and the people around who are feeling helpless about what to do? How is he feeling toward that delinquent youth I’ve just witnessed committing a socially-unacceptable act? What about that socially awkward friend who somehow always offends others with his words?
I am sure Jesus looks at each of them through a hermeneutic of love; he must have seen beyond, of how the complexity of sin and brokenness have caused each to be and act—the consequences of life in a broken world. But he must also have seen beyond, of the possibility of them being made new in him. When we see people through the lens of Christ, we will find ourselves transformed. We begin to know that the person in front of us is already being loved and known by Jesus before we ever meet him. And we will naturally begin to give ourselves in prayer and friendship, not so that we can get something from them, not even to get them to come to our church, but because Christ loves them.