What Would Jesus (Habitually) Do?

You’re in a morally fraught predicament. What would Jesus do? Not a bad question to ask, of course, not at all. And in this post I’ll ask it in a more general rather than in a specific context: What habits did Jesus have in His daily life? Because, if they were His habits, they should probably be our habits, too, as we strive to be more Christ-like.

Pray — with others and by yourself. The latter is especially worth emphasizing. Jesus frequently, and for apparently extended periods of time, would go off by Himself to pray. If He made time to talk with God, when He was God, shouldn’t we?

Study the Bible and think about it. It’s clear from His interaction with Jewish leaders of various kinds — those open to His message and, more frequently, those hostile to it — that Jesus knew Scripture and had given it a lot of thought.

Evangelize. As for how He evangelized, see this post.

Be neither a hermit nor a social butterfly. Jesus loved, taught, healed, traveled with, ate with, and served His fellow human beings, so He was no recluse, but Jesus also led a simple — indeed humble — and focused life.

Keep work in perspective. I repeat: Jesus led a simple and focused life. He wasn’t ashamed to have been a carpenter — neither because it was not the most exalted profession, nor because He was presumably paid for His work. But His priority was not to make money, nor did He put that job first in His life. When the time came, He put down His hammer and tools and walked away from His shop.

Take care of yourself physically. If I were more ambitious, I would become rich by writing a bestseller titled something like, The Jesus Way to Total Fitness. Okay, that would be wrong, but I think it’s worth noting that Jesus ate (plenty of fish and what must have been whole-grain bread!) and drank (nothing but water and some red wine!) in moderation. The fact that, besides the Last Supper, His eating and drinking is a non-issue in the Gospels suggests that he was no glutton or drunkard, and neither abstemious nor teetotaling. That’s in keeping, too, with the lack of any commentary on His physical appearance (aside from the Transfiguration); He must not have been particularly fat or thin, short or tall. As for exercise, the lack of Gospel detail likewise suggests that He was not focused on performing physical feats but was not inactive either. He traveled a lot and almost always by walking (just one donkey ride that we’re told of).

Don’t put yourself first. He taught that we are to be servants, of course, but the whole point of His coming to earth and, needless to say, of His willing crucifixion was selfless.

Note that I’ve made no attempt here to include in the list all that He told us to do. Again, the idea is to look at His habits as He lived His own earthly life.