Remember the bracelets and t-shirts from the WWJD fad of the 1990s? It is a great concept and a tremendous question which has been riding my mind lately as I delve deeper into my faith.
We have the roadmap of Jesus’s life given to us in the New Testament; it is up to us to work at understanding the meaning and to follow in His footsteps. It is hard sometimes to accept all the WWJDs because they are not always what we want to hear. God gives us the roadmap; it is up to us to follow it.
A few years ago, a visiting priest, Fr. Richard Gielow, said at our parish mission that God puts us at the top of the mountain right next to Him. It’s up to us, with the free will He provides us, not to slide downward away from him. The example in the life of Jesus is there to tether us to the mountain top.
So, WWJD? I like the acronym better with a question mark at the end. To me, it seems to be more of an invitation and a challenge to study Jesus’s works and to pattern our lives after His. He was humble, compassionate and kind. His preached love, sacrifice and peace.
Jesus was humble. Jesus came from simple and Jesus lived simple. When He struck out on the mission God sent him to do, he took this simplicity with him.
The Jewish people were expecting a Messiah, but they were more likely expecting a MESSIAH (in all caps). They were expecting a Messianic superhero who would deliver the people of God from Roman occupation and centuries of trials and hardships. God’s chosen people would finally have their day with the coming of the Messiah.
But Jesus did not come equipped with laser-beam eyes to destroy the Roman Legions, nor did he come commanding the heavenly hosts against the enemies of the chosen people. Jesus didn’t pound his chest and shout, “I am the Son of God!” while standing on the mountain top.
Jesus was born in a barn. Jesus was the son of a carpenter from Nazareth. His simplicity and clarity with His message was not what the majority of the people wanted to hear, especially the religious leaders of the time. Even his own local people turned their backs on him and his message with their “Is not this the carpenter’s son?” refusal to listen.
This itinerant, blasphemous rebel named Jesus preached of every man’s need to “love one another as I have loved you” and repent and change in a time when the majority of the people thought the other guy needed to change. He walked the talk. He stayed humble and simple and on message to his last breath.
What would Jesus do? Great concept, tremendous idea. But we must live it.
Our faith cannot be a fashionable bracelet or shirt; it cannot be worn to the finest parties then hung carefully in the closet until the next function. Faith wears like your skin; faith holds you together and gives you shape. Faith protects you.
The shining example of faith for each of us is Jesus. His life, his actions, his simplicity and his humility are right there to lead us, if we only listen.
Copyright © 2012, Mike Hays