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For years, people have been running around with bracelets that say: “What would Jesus Do?”

When you think of Jesus Christ, do you think of him as  “the weak, wishy washy, touchy feely Saviour” as he is often portrayed in the media? The Bible reveals the real Jesus—and He is quite different from what many imagine!  Not only was Jesus’ message vastly different from what is commonly supposed; neither did He look anything at all like the traditional portraits in movie portrayals we see!

He was thoroughly masculine, commanding the respect and loyalty of young followers who were both successful and hard-working. On the one hand, He was prepared to walk boldly into the courtyard of the Temple with a plaited whip, drive the animals out and overthrow the tables of the moneychangers. On the other hand, He was moved with compassion for the sick and afflicted. Jesus surprised some of the pushy, aggressive young men who were His closest followers by taking time to hold infants in His arms and invoke God’s blessing on them (Luke 18:15–16).

Matthew 7:1, “Judge not, that you be not judged.” But beware; appearances can be deceiving. This famous saying of Jesus isn’t telling us not to judge. Here’s the rest of the passage:

For with the judgment you pronounce you will be judged, and with the measure you use it will be measured to you. Why do you see the speck that is in your brother’s eye, but do not notice the log that is in your own eye? Or how can you say to your brother, ‘Let me take the speck out of your eye,’ when there is the log in your own eye? You hypocrite, first take the log out of your own eye, and then you will see clearly to take the speck out of your brother’s eye.

The problem isn’t judging; it’s failing to judge oneself by the same standard. Jesus calls us to examine ourselves and repent of our own sin before we approach someone who is in error or in sin. He tells us to take the speck out of our brother’s eye – in effect, to judge them after critically judging ourselves. In judging, rebuking, or confronting we must avoid being a wimp, a jerk, or a coward. Wimps sit quietly in the pews, shaking their heads and hoping sin and false teaching will go away by itself. They allow these to destroy lives, families, and churches without lifting a finger. Wimps are strong on love, but weak on justice. Jerks know they’re right and they’re proud of it. They don’t distinguish between real problems and minor disagreements and enjoy pointing out everyone else’s errors and moral failings. These folks are strong on justice, but weak on love. Cowards, unlike wimps, are willing to judge sin and false teaching but, unlike jerks, are unwilling to confront those at fault. They lack the courage to confront the problematic person or group and instead spread dissension and mistrust under the radar. The tragedy of the coward is they end up being just as poisonous as the very thing they oppose. He casts out teachers who prophesy falsely in His name yet gives mercy to the repentant tax collector. This is the way of Jesus. He is suffering servant and glorious king. He was not a wimp who just accepted everything, a jerk who looked down on others, or a coward who was afraid to confront.

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What Would Jesus Listen To?  was originally published on