Today’s Bible readings can be found here: Psalm 125:1-5 and Luke 6:1-16.

Luke 6:9 Then Jesus said to them, “I ask you, which is lawful on the Sabbath: to do good or to do evil, to save life or to destroy it?” (NIV)

            I remember the time when many Christians wore WWJD bracelets, t-shirts, and other gear just to show everyone else their personal devotion to Christ. The letters stood for the phrase ‘What Would Jesus Do?’ based on an old book which suddenly became popular again. The premise of the book was to get Christians to ask themselves ‘What would Jesus do?” in any circumstance or problem that confronted them. By asking that question, those wearing the bracelets, rings, etc., were expected to make the right decision. However, Like any other spiritual trend, it was just a fashionable thing for Christians to do – it had no real depth or lasting impact, so after a while, people forgot all about it and moved on to the next best thing.

            Sadly, the whole movement revealed the shallowness of materialistic Christianity and fed the egos of preachers and participants who wanted to display their ‘faith’ in an uncompromising and very blatant way. The consequences of this were many, but two of them still confront us today. Firstly, it showed how easily misled some Christians can become with fashionable trends; and secondly, it produced an aggressive form of our faith which could be summed up in another WWJD trend: Who would Jesus defy? Tragically, this uncompromising form of Christianity has become so prevalent that younger people are turning away from the church because they see an inauthentic, mutant type of faith which they do not want to embrace, as well as an unmerciful Christ whom they do not want to serve.

            In His own day, Jesus confronted the same type of religious intolerants who would rather uphold the rules than show any compassion. That’s why in today’s passage (Luke 6:6-11) Jesus asks them directly “would you rather do good or do evil on the Sabbath – would you rather heal or cause harm?” Christ was exposing their faith failure – they were more upset about ‘profaning the Sabbath’ than healing the man. Their self-righteous indignation was more precious to them than stooping down to help someone in need. Jesus exposed their proud arrogance and wretched inhumanity; they were just being faithful to themselves, not God. Jesus clearly showed them what God would do, but they still wouldn’t accept it – they rejected compassion and justified their legalism. In other words, their faith was self-motivated, inauthentic, hypocritical, and harmful.

            “What would Jesus do?” is actually a great question to ask ourselves, but only if we follow it through honestly, authentically, and obediently. There’s no room in Heaven, nor should there be on Earth for an arrogant, aggressive, and bombastic Christianity. We’re not here to serve our own self-interests; we’re here to serve our Savior in loving, merciful, and humble ways. If we’ve forgotten how to do that, then we need to deeply and personally review our faith and connection to Him. If the love of Jesus is not at the heart of our daily walk with God, and if other people cannot see this in us, then we’ve strayed from His path and need to get back on track, otherwise we may lose ourselves and Christ forever.

Point to ponder: Is my faith in Christ genuine or self-centered? Am I more about spreading compassion or complying with the rules?

Prayer: Lord Jesus, Your ways are not easy to embrace and Your words often confront our prejudicial habits. Have mercy upon us and enable us to overcome our pride in order to present our faith in loving, compassionate, and genuine ways. In your Holy name, we humbly pray. Amen.

Today’s image is one of John’s latest drawings called “Bloodlines.” If you would like to view a larger version, please click here.