Would Jesus Do It?
JESUS CHRIST, the Son of God, was a great teacher and leader. He more profoundly affected the human race for good than any other man that ever lived. How different this world would be, especially Christendom, if more persons would let the question, “Would Jesus do it?” serve as a guide in their lives!
For example, would Jesus be so concerned with status in the community that he would lie, cheat and steal to achieve it? Or would he neglect reading the Bible and the worship of his Father because he had an opportunity to earn some extra money? Far from it! He lived in line with the principles he enunciated: “All things, therefore, that you want men to do to you, you also must likewise do to them; this, in fact, is what the Law and the Prophets mean.” “You cannot slave for God and for Riches. . . . Keep on, then, seeking first the kingdom and his righteousness, and all these other things”—what you will eat and what you will drink and what you will wear—“will be added to you.”—Matt. 7:12; 6:24, 25, 33.
Would Jesus put the preparation and enjoyment of elaborate meals ahead of spiritual interests? On the contrary, even after forty days of fasting he reminded the Tempter, Satan the Devil, that “man must live, not on bread alone, but on every utterance coming forth through Jehovah’s mouth.” On occasion he became so interested in what he was teaching, as in the instance of the Samaritan woman at the well of Sychar, that his disciples felt it necessary for them to remind him that he was hungry: “Rabbi, eat.”—Matt. 4:4; John 4:31-34.
By reason of God’s holy spirit upon him in an outstanding way, Jesus was able to perform many mighty works, cure the sick, miraculously feed multitudes, calm the troubled sea and even raise the dead. But did this great power cause him to become aloof? Did he therefore consider himself better than the common people? At the same time he preached with eloquence, held the rapt attention of great crowds. But did all this success go to his head? Did it make him conceited? No, Jesus would not act like that, for he said of himself: “Take my yoke upon you and become my disciples, for I am mild-tempered and lowly in heart, and you will find refreshment for your souls. For my yoke is kindly and my load is light.” He even washed the feet of his apostles, he their “Master” or “Lord.”—Matt. 11:29, 30; John 13:4-14.
Consider, too, the modern emphasis on sex. Commercialism for selfish gain exploits the weaknesses of men, women and children. It portrays sex, lawful or unlawful, as the most desirable thing in life. As a result, telling smutty stories, sexy jokes, reading pornographic novels and magazines, and attending lascivious motion pictures or prurient stage plays are the order of the day. But would Jesus do these things? Would he indulge in sexy dancing, such as the “Twist,” or practice fornication? It is as though professed Christians were becoming converts to pagan phallicism or sex worship. How far removed all this is from the high standard Jesus set and lived by! “I say to you that everyone that keeps on looking at a woman so as to have a passion for her has already committed adultery with her in his heart.”—Matt. 5:28.
Or would Jesus Christ, who came to earth to give his life for all the races, manifest racial prejudice? Yet today racial prejudice is rampant, and that especially in the part of the world known as Christendom. Thus a World Baptist Fellowship group congratulated the governor of Mississippi, Ross Barnett, for trying to keep a Negro from enrolling in the state university and even urged him to die if necessary in order to prevent this! Certain fraternal orders that make high professions regarding principles, such as the Masonic Order, refuse to admit Negroes, obliging Negroes to form their own segregated lodges. The Prince Hall Masons are a case in point. Do you imitate the example Jesus set in this matter or do you believe in the motto, ‘When in Rome do as the Romans do’?
Or would Jesus be a religious illiterate as are so many in Christendom today, knowing little of what they are supposed to believe and why they should believe it? No, his recorded words show that he had the greatest familiarity with the Word of his Father. His familiarity with it was such that for every occasion he was able to produce Scriptural testimony: “It is written.” “Did you never read in the Scriptures?” “Did you not read what was spoken to you by God?” and so forth.—Matt. 4:4; 21:42; 22:31.
Today prayer is neglected by many; with others it is a mere routine; others, again, keep saying the same things over and over again, while public prayers are often uttered with man in mind rather than God. Would Jesus have fallen short in any of these respects? On the contrary, he prayed often and earnestly and condemned both praying for effect and saying the same things over and over again in one’s prayers.—Matt. 6:5-8; Luke 6:12; 11:1; John 17:1-26.
Then again, would Jesus, like so many today, feel embarrassed when it came to discussing his religious beliefs, either because of lack of knowledge or because of the fear of man? His mental attitude was the very opposite; witnessing to the truth was the very purpose for which he came to earth, and he fulfilled that purpose. He was alert to every opportunity to honor his Father and enlighten and comfort others.—John 18:37; 4:16-26; Rev. 3:14.
Yes, if all who profess to recognize Jesus Christ as a great teacher and leader would be governed by the question, “Would Jesus do it?” what a different world this would be! What honor would come to God, what high principles would be followed and how much neighbor love would be shown! But how can you be certain whether Jesus would do a certain thing or not? By familiarizing yourself with his life and teachings, which are summed up in the two great commandments: Love God with your whole heart, mind and soul, and love your neighbor as yourself. To help you gain this knowledge is one of the purposes of this magazine.—Mark 12:29-31.