The Pastor's Pastor Rev Dr Rowland Croucher founder of John Mark Ministries which specialises in Christian theological research and ministry to Ministers and especially to those who are scarred and heart-injured.
Rowland poses this vital question - What would Jesus do? There are some thing we all need to reminded of when discussing Jesus. He was no push over. He dealt with the money changers. He dealt with the Pharisees and the religious leaders of the day without fear nor favour. He handled lies and half truths and petty politics like no other before him. He exercised an authority whereupon all marvelled. He went to the Cross, a most horrible form of death.
When Rowland Croucher discusses his question – What would Jesus do - also think on these things.
Rowland Croucher asks – What would Jesus do
Part 2 - the first part looked at who is Jesus (hyperlink)
So what’s he asking us to do? Simple: ‘Follow me.’
â¨What does that mean? In the Gospel of John, he gives his followers a mandate: ‘As the Father has sent me, so I’m sending you’ (John chapter 20 verse 21). In other words: what you have seen me do, you do!
What’s that? At the beginning of Jesus' public ministry (Luke chapter 4 verse 18), he gives us a dot-point summary: he came to offer ‘Good news to the poor, freedom for captives, sight for the blind, to set the oppressed free, and to release people from their debts.’ Whatever inhibits our well-being, Jesus offers to bring healing in those areas…
â¨And that’s what we’re to do. Indeed at the final judgement (Matthew chapter 25 verses 37-38), we’ll be asked how we went with all that. Jesus today is hungry needing food; thirsty, needing clean water; a stranger needing our hospitality; or naked needing clothes; sick, or in prison, needing our help…
So, what do we do? And where do we start?
We begin with a commitment to follow Jesus. We invite Jesus into our life, and Jesus’ Spirit helps sort us out in terms of the collected baggage, guilt and shame that’s accumulated there.
â¨And our motto, our watch-word, is the same as Jesus’ Great Commandment: ‘You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, mind, soul and strength, and your neighbour as yourself’ (Luke chapter 10 verses 27-28). Jesus’ hearers had a ‘Yes, but’ question about that: ‘Who is my neighbour?’ Not easy.
â¨When Serbs are slaughtering Muslims who is my neighbour? When Tutsis are being killed by Hutus, who is my neighbour? When hundreds of thousands are being slaughtered by radical Islamists in Syria and Iraq, who is my neighbour? Jesus’ parable of the Good Samaritan answers this very clearly: my neighbour is someone – anyone – who needs my help and I’m in a position to offer it.
â¨And before we rush off to help everyone, and in the process get ‘spattered all over the wall of needfulness’ we do what Jesus suggested when the needs are so numerous and so great: ‘The harvest is plentiful…’ so – what? PRAY (Luke chapter 10 verse 2).
â¨And prayer is so important that we develop a relationship in the stillness and quietness of a ‘desert’ rather than rushing around wearing ourselves out. Speaking of TED talks, I note this week that there’s one titled ‘We’re all trying to be multi-taskers. It’s good for nothing!’ All of God’s best leaders, best people, regularly spend time in deserts, as Jesus did.
â¨Then – LISTEN. ‘A true friend is someone who listens to you and to God at the same time.’ But don’t get too addicted to ‘helping’ others. I’ve met many people who get a ‘buzz’ out of needing to be needed… Thoreau suggested ‘If you see someone coming towards you with the obvious intent of doing you good, run for your life’. Or C S Lewis: ‘She went around doing good: you could tell those she wanted to help by their hunted look!’
â¨Work with others to alleviate the needs of the marginalised. Dave Andrews tells a terrific story about some squatters in Brisbane who were constantly harassed by the police. Because they camped illegally, of course the police had to keep moving them on. Solution: ‘Bricks through the police station windows’. Dave had another suggestion: invite the police for coffee, and talk about it. Eventually the Council and State Government found some ways to accommodate these homeless people legally. 
â¨Dave signed his book when he kindly gave me a copy: ‘To Rowland Croucher, with the prayer that you will not only keep the faith, but also the love that is at the heart of our faith’.
â¨And, if you’re able, speak truth to power. Jesus did this especially with the Jewish religious and political authorities (though some have thought he was a bit soft on Rome… but that’s a discussion for another day). An excellent book to whet your appetite: Peter McKinnon’s The Songs of Jesse Adams - about what Jesus might have done if he were to come to Melbourne a generation ago. 
So doing what Jesus did helps answer the greatest existential questions I face about my life: Who am I? Do I have worth? What am I supposed to be doing with the one life I’m given?
It’s simple, really: Follow Jesus. Do what Jesus did. If you try to ‘save your life’ you’ll lose it. John Stott, one of my mentors, puts it like this: 'If you insist on living for yourself, you’ll lose yourself. But if you’re prepared to lose yourself and give yourself away in love for God and your fellow human beings, then in that moment of complete abandon, when you think you have lost everything, the miracle happens and you find yourself’. 
â¨And St Paul’s excellent summary:
â¨So this is my prayer: that your love will flourish and that you will not only love much but well. Learn to love appropriately. You need to use your head and test your feelings so that your love is sincere and intelligent, not sentimental gush. Live a lover’s life, circumspect and exemplary, a life Jesus will be proud of: bountiful in fruits from the soul, making Jesus Christ attractive to all, getting everyone involved in the glory and praise of God. (Philippians chapter 1 verses 9-11 ).â¨ â¨â¨
 Dave Andrews, Can You Hear the Heartbeat: A Challenge to Care the Way Jesus Cared pp. 112 ff. Dave was in the media recently because of his excellent ministry 'Befriending Muslims'.
 Peter McKinnon, The Songs of Jesse Adams, Acorn 2014. For my review, visit http://www.jmm.org.au/articles/33782.htm
 John Stott, Why I am a Christian, 2013, p. 97
Rowland Croucher is an Australian Baptist pastor (as was also his wife Jan before she passed away nearly a year ago). He's authored ten books and will soon see his latest published in the next month or so:('Questions & Responses: the 50 toughest questions pastors and counsellors are asked').