What Would Jesus Do? Do you remember the bracelets that everyone wore in the 90s and early 2000s? They were supposed to remind the wearer to ask what Jesus would do in certain situations…and let other people know they were a Christian.
Guess what? That W.W.J.D. concept comes from a book—and I’m not talking about the Bible.
When I was a little girl, my parents gave me the children’s book called, “What Would Jesus Do?” In this story, the normal, white churchgoers are portrayed as silly, self-absorbed, clique-y, and completely oblivious to the essence of the message of Christ. However, there are three children who, along with the pastor, begin to have their eyes opened to the realities of their selfishness and prejudices—with the help of a poor, blind man and a young boy (both from the slums).
In the end, these children and their pastor recognize the need to love those who are different—that going against the culture to make hard decisions to advocate for “the least of these” is Biblical. They know that if they are going to truly call themselves Christians, they have to act differently, even when their pride and reputations want to stay safe. And they do.
What Would Jesus Do today? He would join Black Lives Matter.
Why? Because he cares about “the least of these.” He cares about the brutal handling of humanity and, I think it’s safe to say, abhors prejudices that continue to justify such actions.
I think Jesus would look at all the white Christians who keep saying, “if you would just respect the police, you’d be safe,” and remind them that thousands of years ago, the “police” (Roman soldiers) treated Christians cruelly and made up crimes against them. Jesus himself died (under questionable charges) at the hands of that unjust system.
Before the argument begins: yes, Jesus won’t approve of every aspect of the movement. That’s not the point. The point is that Jesus loves, Jesus cares, and Jesus made radical claims and took radical actions—the kind of actions that found him eating with prostitutes, seeking out greedy tax collectors, and calling the Pharisees whitewashed tombs. He didn’t hole up in the temple praying for “all those people.” He didn’t tell the Samaritan woman to take her grubby hands and tainted water away from him—he drank from what she offered, and then offered her something more.
It is time to stop and reevaluate. It’s time to stop lauding and idolizing law enforcement—not everyone teaches their children to look for a police officer if they get lost. It is time to call injustice out by name and stop hiding it behind the façade of public safety.
Before you post another anti-Black Lives Matter meme or hold rioters for racial equality to a different standard than fans of the winning Super Bowl team, consider that Jesus repeatedly violated the norms of his culture. He sent shock waves wherever he went.
Stop preaching and raving about his radical actions on Sunday unless you are ready to imitate them on Monday.