Spirited Reflection: What Would Jesus Forward?

what would jesus do?

In politically charged times it may be tempting to forward email containing nostalgic, sentimental or violent content. For guidance, Christians have asked, “What would Jesus do?” (WWJD). This is a simpler question than others we could ask, such as: What was Jesus thinking? What did Jesus think he was doing? “What would Jesus forward?” (WWJF). WWJF is a narrowing of WWJD. However, maybe a mind full of thoughts about Jesus, such as the following, can prevent a hasty “forward.”

  • Jesus is central for Christians. He is Christ, Messiah.
  • Believers in him are called to follow on the narrow path.
  • Love, humility, and identity in the Kingdom of God define this path.
  • Love suffers.
  • Humility is self-aware and cautious.
  • Identity in God’s Kingdom trumps identity in gender, class, or nation.
  • Worship with prayer and study forms Christians into faithful disciples of Jesus.
  • Worship contains gratitude, confession, and community.
  • Prayer makes space for awareness of God’s action, desire, and call.
  • Study prevents arrogance and haste.
  • Fear is not allowed.
  • Jesusʼ disciples were prone to misunderstand him but he showed them grace.
  • When they misunderstood, he explained.
  • When they chastised him, he reminded them of God’s inclusive love for outcasts, foreigners, children, widows, and the powerless.
  • When they sought power for themselves, he reminded them to serve.
  • When they betrayed him, he understood and forgave.
  • When they denied him, he fed them and brought them back to discipleship.
  • Before he left them, he assured them of continuing guidance through the Holy Spirit.
  • He told them not to be afraid.

Jesus taught by example.

He demonstrated:

  • Creative engagement with tradition and scripture,
  • Love of self, neighbour, and enemy, regardless of station or position,
  • Dedication to truth over social norms,
  • Ability to change opinion regarding foreigners,
  • Direct communication,
  • Emotional awareness,
  • Total trust,
  • Integrity,
  • Creative resistance, and calm, non-violent focus in the face of individual, mob, and institutionalized violence.

He prayed.
He healed.
He advocated.
He empowered.
He washed feet.
He suffered.
He was not afraid.

Jesus’ ministry began and concluded with refusal of power for himself.

  • He grew beyond temporal, provincial goals to timeless, universal inclusion and called that move “the Kingdom of God among and within you.”
  • He lived within a community of followers and friends.
  • They became an alternative community to the dominant and violent Roman Empire.
  • As Christ, Messiah, he asked them to love with integrity, to share good news, and to pray for the Kingdom of God on Earth.
  • He told them not to be afraid.

He forwarded a program of peace with justice through self-denial, non-violence, and spiritual growth. What will his disciples forward?

Rob Copeman-Haynes lives with his partner and their two nearly grown-up daughters in Delta, BC. He has an uneasy relationship with technology, preferring unmediated experience.

Filed in: Spirited Reflections


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