In our last post, we looked at “What Did Jesus Say?” in response to questions about the role of compassion in evangelism. We’ve heard many times, “What Would Jesus Do?” (WWJD), wondering how He would respond to a situation we’re facing. But have you ever considered “Where Would Jesus Be?” (WWJB) if He were walking the earth today? We’re going to examine that question in this post, and do so exactly in the same way we determined what Jesus would say or do – by looking at His life, words and ministry in Scripture.
In Jesus’ time, disciples of a rabbi were called Talmudine. It was considered a great honor to be asked by a rabbi to “come follow me”. It meant they were deemed worthy, with potential to become exactly like their rabbi one day. To attain that goal, disciples imitated who they followed in every respect – literally every step of the way. In fact, a common blessing in Jesus’ day was, “May the dust of your rabbi be upon you.”
In other words, a disciple of Jesus takes on His attributes. Jesus made clear statements about His greatest attribute – that of a servant.
“For even the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many.”
Because Jesus was first and foremost a servant, we should…
Serve How He Served (WWJD)
Because Jesus’ “dust should be upon us”, we as disciples should seek to understand where He would be today so we can…
Serve Where He Served (WWJB)
Where Was Jesus Then?
On earth, Jesus spent nearly all of His time:
- Healing the sick – surrounded by the lame and lepers
- Preaching the gospel – on hillsides, boats, lakeshores and in homes
- Hanging out with those in greatest need of a “physician” – like prostitutes and tax collectors
- Not criticizing those “sinners” – instead directing His ire toward the “religious” who were judging them
- Resisting fame – withdrawing from crowds to spend time with the Father in prayer
- Not trying to build a huge following – but preaching the most difficult messages at the height of his popularity
- Instead, deeply discipling a small group of close friends
- Finding those first disciples among poor, uneducated fishermen
- Gravitating toward children – not pushing them away
- Frequenting churches – but typically to straighten out and clean up His house
Jesus didn’t kowtow to the religious establishment – and it made them furious. The Pharisees enjoyed the acclaim their position brought and expected deferential treatment. They loved rules and money – and made lots of both. They were served, not servants. They would have thought the Messiah would align Himself and hang out with them. However, Jesus did the opposite. He ran straight to the “lowest of the low” – the most destitute, ill, ignorant and objectionable. On top of that, despite their bottom-rung social status and Christ’s elevated position above even the Pharisees, Jesus did the unthinkable – He actually served them.
“Where Would Jesus Be (WWJB)” Now?
Where Jesus was then is exactly where He not only “would be”, but actually is today – right now! If you want to find Jesus, go where He went – because that’s most likely where He is most present at this very moment. But be warned, to walk in the footsteps of our Rabbi, you’re going to have to go far out of your normal way and far outside of your comfort zone…
- At hospitals – visiting and helping those sick and suffering (Luke 7:22)
- In red-light districts – the worst side of town with notorious “sinners” (Mark 2:17)
- In remote towns – traveling while preaching, healing and feeding along the way (Mark 1:38)
- Across the “tracks” – in the most impoverished areas of the city (Matthew 4:18)
- At orphanages – showing His great love for helpless, humble children (Matthew 19:14)
- In Assisted Living Facilities – visiting widows in their distress (James 1:27)
- At homeless shelters – Jesus had no place to lay His head either (Luke 9:58)
- In homes of friends and acquaintances – teaching and building relationships (Luke 10:38-42)
- In schools – instructing children and serving kids with special needs (Luke 10:21)
All the while, Jesus would be preaching the gospel to any who would listen. And they would listen because they’d be overwhelmed by His kindness and overcome by His outpouring of love.
Where He wouldn’t be hanging out (because He didn’t then):
- Wealthy suburbs
- Inside the “4 walls” of churches, except to awaken them to the truth and remind them that members (not leaders) are His body
- Hobnobbing with today’s most “successful” leaders and pastors
- Comfort of his own home
What Does That Mean for You and Me?
If you’re looking for a deeper relationship with the Lord, then get covered in the dust of the Rabbi. “Where Would Jesus Be?” is a challenge that involves more risk and discomfort than most Christians are willing to endure:
- Where Jesus would be isn’t safe (Luke 10:3)
- There are some bad people there (Matthew 9:10)
- You’ll need a thorough knowledge and careful study of the scriptures (John 8:31)
- Real progress will necessitate a lot of prayer (Luke 5:16)
- The Great Commission doesn’t afford you the luxury of criticizing culture from afar (Matthew 28:19)
- The journey doesn’t need to be to a foreign land, it can be right there in your city, leaving no excuse for not going (Matthew 9:35)
- True discipleship requires a servant’s heart, knowing people don’t care what you know until they know you care (Mark 10:45)
- You’ll need to redefine what church is – it’s YOU! (Acts 2:42-47)
Jesus is kicking up dust right now. Will you follow Him down this unpaved, rocky road?
It’s Your Turn…
WWJB? Now that you know, will you go? Where can you head tonight or this weekend to serve and share your faith with those Jesus spent His time pursuing?