Views From the Back Pew
I’m sure that some of you remember the WWJD bracelets that were for sale all over. They became popular back in the 90s, and it seemed like they were on sale at every convenient store in every town. The WWJD stood for “What Would Jesus Do?”, which was a great idea that a youth group leader named Janie Tinklenberg came up with as a way to help the young people in her congregation remember the phrase. It served as a wonderful reminder to think in each situation that we might find ourselves in about what Jesus would do if He were facing the same situation. But what if we didn’t need anything to remind us how to be more Christ-like? Or, what if we had a better understanding of what it looks like to act like Jesus would? This might be the million-dollar question, but if we profess to be Christian, then why would we need something to remind us to act more like Christ? Good question, right? Each Sunday we go to our respective churches and hear about the Lord. We talk about reading the bible, praying for people, helping the needy, and we feel all warm and fuzzy inside. Then comes Monday, and it’s like we forgot everything we heard the day before, or maybe we weren’t listening at all, so we don’t behave in the way that Jesus would want. Once the week starts, we forget how Jesus used love and compassion to help Him convince the world of a better way.
In Matthew 25:31-46 Jesus tells about the final judgment. He explains that all nations will be brought before His glorious throne to be judged. The sheep, which is what He calls the righteous, will be separated from the goats, who are the wicked. If we look at verses thirty-four through forty, we see Jesus say: 34“Then the King will say to those on his right, ‘Come, you who are blessed by my Father; take your inheritance, the kingdom prepared for you since the creation of the world. 35 For I was hungry and you gave me something to eat, I was thirsty and you gave me something to drink, I was a stranger and you invited me in, 36 I needed clothes and you clothed me, I was sick and you looked after me, I was in prison and you came to visit me.’ 37“Then the righteous will answer him, ‘Lord, when did we see you hungry and feed you, or thirsty and give you something to drink? 38 When did we see you a stranger and invite you in, or needing clothes and clothe you? 39 When did we see you sick or in prison and go to visit you?’ 40“The King will reply, ‘Truly I tell you, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers and sisters of mine, you did for me.’” The point Jesus is making is that when we do something for someone else, we are doing it for Him. But, in verses forty-one through forty-six, Jesus tells the goats, or the wicked people, that because they were unwilling to help those that Jesus calls the least of His, then they were headed for an eternal punishment.
I’m not sure if it’s good or bad that we might need some initials on a bracelet to remind us how to treat other people. A part of me thinks it might be a handy thing to glance down at when we need it. A gentle reminder when we are frustrated by someone, or maybe when we get cut off driving down the road, we can look at our wrist and then think about how Jesus would handle things. But my heart tells me that if we stay in constant contact with the Lord by studying His word and praying, then it would just be a given that we would handle each situation in the manner that Jesus would. It feels good to be there for someone, and kindness takes surprisingly little effort. Wouldn’t it be better to hear that we have been given an eternal reward in heaven instead of an eternal punishment in hell just because of how we treat others? So, this week, do whatever you need to do to remind yourself that we treat everyone, even the least of Jesus’s people, with love and respect. Let’s all focus on helping those in need and lifting up each other. May the Lord bless you and keep you. Have an awesome week!
Bryan Tucker, Minister
Okemah Church of Christ