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WWJD?—No, seriously

Posted by in healing, theology | 3 comments

What Would Jesus Do? The last time I visited my local Christian bookstore, I saw that these bracelets are still sold, and I’ve seen maybe five or six people sporting them in the last week or two. So I know this topic is still discussed and talked about.
That question however is best answered by looking at what he DID, and DOES do. Also, the hyperlinks I’ve given will just take you to BibleGateway’s website where the passages quoted are shown in the Amplified Bible. I link them there just in case there’s any doubt in your mind that I’m using a translation that translates for my purposes.

What Did Jesus Do?

Matt 4:23-23:
And he went throughout all Galilee, teaching in their synagogues and proclaiming the gospel of the kingdom and healing every disease and every affliction among the people.
So his fame spread throughout all Syria, and they brought him all the sick, those afflicted with various diseases and pains, those oppressed by demons, epileptics, and paralytics, and he healed them.
- Jesus taught and healed ALL the sick (unless you have a different definition for the word “every” that I have never heard)

Matt 7:9-12: Or which one of you, if his son asks him for bread, will give him a stone?
Or if he asks for a fish, will give him a serpent? If you then, who are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father who is in heaven give good things to those who ask him! “So whatever you wish that others would do to you, do also to them, for this is the Law and the Prophets.
- He gave GOOD gifts, not BAD ones to them that ask; as well as did to others what they’d want done to them.

Matt 8:2-3: And behold, a leper came to him and knelt before him, saying, “Lord, if you will, you can make me clean.” And Jesus stretched out his hand and touched him, saying, “I will; be clean.” And immediately his leprosy was cleansed. - Jesus was WILLING to heal.

Matt 9:35-36: And Jesus went throughout all the cities and villages, teaching in their synagogues and proclaiming the gospel of the kingdom and healing every disease and every affliction. When he saw the crowds, he had compassion for them, because they were harassed and helpless, like sheep without a shepherd. -He had COMPASSION on the sick (for emphasis, see also the two verses following).

Matt 15:21-28 And Jesus went away from there and withdrew to the district of Tyre and Sidon. And behold, a Canaanite woman from that region came out and was crying, “Have mercy on me, O Lord, Son of David; my daughter is severely oppressed by a demon.” But he did not answer her a word. And his disciples came and begged him, saying, “Send her away, for she is crying out after us.” He answered, “I was sent only to the lost sheep of the house of Israel.” But she came and knelt before him, saying, “Lord, help me.” And he answered, “It is not right to take the children’s bread and throw it to the dogs.” She said, “Yes, Lord, yet even the dogs eat the crumbs that fall from their masters’ table.” Then Jesus answered her, “O woman, great is your faith! Be it done for you as you desire.” And her daughter was healed instantly.
- Jesus answered someone’s PERSISTENCE.

Matt 17:14-18 And when they came to the crowd, a man came up to him and, kneeling before him, said, “Lord, have mercy on my son, for he is an epileptic and he suffers terribly. For often he falls into the fire, and often into the water. And I brought him to your disciples, and they could not heal him.” And Jesus answered, “O faithless and twisted generation, how long am I to be with you? How long am I to bear with you? Bring him here to me.” And Jesus rebuked him, and the demon came out of him, and the boy was healed instantly. - He healed someone when his disciples couldn’t (see Luke 9:38-43, and Mark 9:17-27), but they should have been able to (Matt 10:1,7-8).

Matt 28:18-20 -And Jesus came and said to them, “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you. And behold, I am with you always, to the end of the age.” He gave his followers the mandate to DO THE SAME [as Him] (Luke 9:1-6)

Mark 2:4-11 And when they could not get near him because of the crowd, they removed the roof above him, and when they had made an opening, they let down the bed on which the paralytic lay. And when Jesus saw their faith, he said to the paralytic, “My son, your sins are forgiven.” Now some of the scribes were sitting there, questioning in their hearts, “Why does this man speak like that? He is blaspheming! Who can forgive sins but God alone?” And immediately Jesus, perceiving in his spirit that they thus questioned within themselves, said to them, “Why do you question these things in your hearts? Which is easier, to say to the paralytic, ‘Your sins are forgiven,’ or to say, ‘Rise, take up your bed and walk’? But that you may know that the Son of Man has authority on earth to forgive sins“–he said to the paralytic– “I say to you, rise, pick up your bed, and go home.” -He forgave sins and healed in the same breath, and he healed in order to demonstrate that he had authority to forgive sins (and heal bodies). Jesus’ healing people was a key evidence of his authority to forive sins. See also James 5:14-16 and Isaiah 53:4-5.

Mark 5:6-13 And when he saw Jesus from afar, he ran and fell down before him. And crying out with a loud voice, he said, “What have you to do with me, Jesus, Son of the Most High God? I adjure you by God, do not torment me.” For he was saying to him, “Come out of the man, you unclean spirit!” And Jesus asked him, “What is your name?” He replied, “My name is Legion, for we are many.” And he begged him earnestly not to send them out of the country. Now a great herd of pigs was feeding there on the hillside, and they begged him, saying, “Send us to the pigs; let us enter them.” So he gave them permission. And the unclean spirits came out, and entered the pigs, and the herd, numbering about two thousand, rushed down the steep bank into the sea and were drowned in the sea. - He cast unclean spirits (demons) out of people. Bonus points for noticing that the man himself technically didn’t even ask Jesus to–the spirit(s) did. Observation: Jesus did do it anyway. Does that mess with some traditional thinking on demonology and healing?

Mark 5:24-34 And he went with him. And a great crowd followed him and thronged about him. And there was a woman who had had a discharge of blood for twelve years, and who had suffered much under many physicians, and had spent all that she had, and was no better but rather grew worse. She had heard the reports about Jesus and came up behind him in the crowd and touched his garment. For she said, “If I touch even his garments, I will be made well.” And immediately the flow of blood dried up, and she felt in her body that she was healed of her disease. And Jesus, perceiving in himself that power had gone out from him, immediately turned about in the crowd and said, “Who touched my garments?” And his disciples said to him, “You see the crowd pressing around you, and yet you say, ‘Who touched me?'” And he looked around to see who had done it. But the woman, knowing what had happened to her, came in fear and trembling and fell down before him and told him the whole truth. And he said to her, “Daughter, your faith has made you well; go in peace, and be healed of your disease.” - Jesus healed someone that DIDN’T ‘ask’ Him to, but just went for it! She got healed without his “permission” so to speak. Does that contradict commonly held traditions about how to be healed?

Mark 6:4-6 And Jesus said to them, “A prophet is not without honor, except in his hometown and among his relatives and in his own household.” And he could do no mighty work there, except that he laid his hands on a few sick people and healed them. And he marveled because of their unbelief. And he went about among the villages teaching. -Jesus could do no mighty work where there was no faith and he was rejected.

Mark 7:33 And taking him aside from the crowd privately, he put his fingers into his ears, and after spitting touched his tongue. - Jesus healed people in ways that are ridiculous to us

Mark 10:51-52 And Jesus said to him, “What do you want me to do for you?” And the blind man said to him, “Rabbi, let me recover my sight.” And Jesus said to him, “Go your way; your faith has made you well.” And immediately he recovered his sight and followed him on the way
Jesus healed by only speaking a word –and gave what the man wanted. I’ve been told “it’s selfish to ask for what we want, but just ask God to give us what we need.” As if God doesn’t know how to tell the difference, but anyway moving along.

Mark 16:20 And they went out and preached everywhere, while the Lord worked with them and confirmed the message by accompanying signs. -Jesus worked with his disciples and confirmed the word with signs following.

Luke 7:12-15 As he drew near to the gate of the town, behold, a man who had died was being carried out, the only son of his mother, and she was a widow, and a considerable crowd from the town was with her. And when the Lord saw her, he had compassion on her and said to her, “Do not weep.” Then he came up and touched the bier, and the bearers stood still. And he said, “Young man, I say to you, arise.” And the dead man sat up and began to speak, and Jesus gave him to his mother. -Jesus raised the dead by the touch and spoken word

Luke 8:24-25 And they went and woke him, saying, “Master, Master, we are perishing!” And he awoke and rebuked the wind and the raging waves, and they ceased, and there was a calm. He said to them, “Where is your faith?” And they were afraid, and they marveled, saying to one another, “Who then is this, that he commands even winds and water, and they obey him?” Jesus rebuked winds and raging waters (authority over the weather), and was surprised that the disciples were fearful about the situation.

Luke 11:9-13 And I tell you, ask, and it will be given to you; seek, and you will find; knock, and it will be opened to you. For everyone who asks receives, and the one who seeks finds, and to the one who knocks it will be opened. What father among you, if his son asks for a fish, will instead of a fish give him a serpent; or if he asks for an egg, will give him a scorpion? If you then, who are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will the heavenly Father give the Holy Spirit to those who ask him!” -Jesus doesn’t/didn’t give something worse to people than what it was they were asking for. I’ve grown up being taught that God gives us sicknesses to draw us closer to him or that when asking for something (fish) that He gives us something else (a snake) instead. Not according to this analogy! Ever heard it said “sometimes God says no?” Moving right along!

Luke 10:1 After this the Lord appointed seventy-two others and sent them on ahead of him, two by two, into every town and place where he himself was about to go. -Jesus appointed others besides his close pals to do what He’d been doing.

Luke 10:9,17 Heal the sick in it and say to them, ‘The kingdom of God has come near to you.’
The seventy-two returned with joy, saying, “Lord, even the demons are subject to us in your name!” -Jesus gave THEM authority as well to heal the sick and cast out demons (and they did it).

Luke 17:11-19 On the way to Jerusalem he was passing along between Samaria and Galilee.
And as he entered a village, he was met by ten lepers, who stood at a distance and lifted up their voices, saying, “Jesus, Master, have mercy on us.” When he saw them he said to them, “Go and show yourselves to the priests.” And as they went they were cleansed. Then one of them, when he saw that he was healed, turned back, praising God with a loud voice; and he fell on his face at Jesus’ feet, giving him thanks. Now he was a Samaritan. Then Jesus answered, “Were not ten cleansed? Where are the nine? Was no one found to return and give praise to God except this foreigner?” And he said to him, “Rise and go your way; your faith has made you well.”
-Jesus healed people who weren’t even grateful enough to come worship him for it

Luke 18:40-43 And Jesus stopped and commanded him to be brought to him. And when he came near, he asked him, “What do you want me to do for you?” He said, “Lord, let me recover my sight.” And Jesus said to him, “Recover your sight; your faith has made you well.” And immediately he recovered his sight and followed him, glorifying God. And all the people, when they saw it, gave praise to God. -Jesus gave the person the healing they WANTED not what Jesus “decided to give instead” (again, some believe and teach “God doesn’t answer” this kind of prayer).

Luke 22:50-51 And one of them struck the servant of the high priest and cut off his right ear. But Jesus said, “No more of this!” And he touched his ear and healed him. -Jesus healed an enemy miraculously–not someone who was a follower of his. Boy I can just smell the ‘sacred cow’ of that traditional thought (“only if you have faith in Jesus can you receive healing”) burning right now as you’re reading this.

John 5:2-9a Now there is in Jerusalem near the Sheep Gate a pool, which in Aramaic is called Bethesda and which is surrounded by five covered colonnades. Here a great number of disabled people used to lie–the blind, the lame, the paralyzed. One who was there had been an invalid for thirtyeight years. When Jesus saw him lying there and learned that he had been in this condition for a long time, he asked him, “Do you want to get well?”
“Sir,” the invalid replied, “I have no one to help me into the pool when the water is stirred. While I am trying to get in, someone else goes down ahead of me.”
Then Jesus said to him, “Get up! Pick up your mat and walk.” At once the man was cured; he picked up his mat and walked.

-Jesus went and found someone to heal who wasn’t looking for Him or asking for it OTHER than looking for someone to lower him into the pool.

John 7:23 If on the Sabbath a man receives circumcision, so that the law of Moses may not be broken, are you angry with me because on the Sabbath I made a man’s whole body well?
- Jesus broke traditions of men by performing miracles out of compassion. And he made peoples’ whole body well–not just their emotions or inner healing.

John 9 (click here for whole chapter) Key highlights from this passage:
And his disciples asked him, “Rabbi, who sinned, this man or his parents, that he was born blind?” Jesus answered, “It was not that this man sinned, or his parents, but that the works of God might be displayed in him. (v.2-3)
So the Pharisees again asked him how he had received his sight. And he said to them, “He put mud on my eyes, and I washed, and I see.” Some of the Pharisees said, “This man is not from God, for he does not keep the Sabbath.” But others said, “How can a man who is a sinner do such signs?” And there was a division among them. So they said again to the blind man, “What do you say about him, since he has opened your eyes?” He said, “He is a prophet.” The Jews did not believe that he had been blind and had received his sight, until they called the parents of the man who had received his sight (v.15-18)
And they reviled him, saying, “You are his disciple, but we are disciples of Moses.
We know that God has spoken to Moses, but as for this man, we do not know where he comes from.” The man answered, “Why, this is an amazing thing! You do not know where he comes from, and yet he opened my eyes.
(v.28-30)
If this man were not from God, he could do nothing.”
They answered him, “You were born in utter sin, and would you teach us?” And they cast him out.
(v.33-34)

- Jesus did things for people that got the healed person excommunicated by their religious peers and leaders!

John 10:10 The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy. I came that they may have life and have it abundantly. -He gives life (not illness) to the full. Is Jesus a thief? What does life ‘abundantly’ mean?

John 11: Click here for whole chapter where Lazarus was raised from the dead.
-Jesus made people want to kill him AND the person he raised from the dead

Acts 10:38 How God anointed Jesus of Nazareth with the Holy Spirit and with power. He went about doing good and healing all who were oppressed by the devil, for God was with him.
He did GOOD by healing the oppressed –not making them sicker so somehow they could glorify God that way!

What does the Bible say about us following in Jesus’ footsteps?

To quote it as it’s always put to me: “Yes Steve, but we’re not God, that was Jesus–He was different.” That is true in many respects, but not when it contradicts what Scripture teaches us we are to do and be like Jesus in at least three places:

Mark 16:15-18
And he said to them, “Go into all the world and proclaim the gospel to the whole creation. Whoever believes and is baptized will be saved, but whoever does not believe will be condemned. And these signs will accompany those who believe: in my name they will cast out demons; they will speak in new tongues; they will pick up serpents with their hands; and if they drink any deadly poison, it will not hurt them; they will lay their hands on the sick, and they will recover.” It doesn’t say these signs will only accompany the disciples, or the first generation/early church. In fact, the only prerequisite to doing these signs Jesus did is being a believer:

John 14:12-14 “Truly, truly, I say to you, whoever believes in me will also do the works that I do; and greater works than these will he do, because I am going to the Father.
Whatever you ask in my name, this I will do, that the Father may be glorified in the Son.
If you ask me anything in my name, I will do it.
What does “whoever believes” mean? What does “also do [the works that I do]” mean? And what is a ‘greater work’. Hmm, interesting.

Ephesians 3:20-21 Now to him who is able to do far more abundantly than all that we ask or think, according to the power at work within us, to him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, forever and ever. Amen. What does “power at work within US” mean? What does “throughout all generations” mean? All of the generations, or just the first one?

So What would Jesus Do? If these Scriptures aren’t convincing enough, then the modern church has no idea. But if we read and believe the Bible, we’d see we are to do likewise.

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Steve Bremner is a Canadian missionary to Peru, who is called to raise up disciples who flow in the power of the Holy Spirit within a missional community named Oikos. He is passionate about blogging and podcasting, and is general editor of Fire Press, and also produces & co-hosts its podcast called Fire On Your Head. If you like Steve's blog, you'll also like his Kindle books.
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