In the early 1990s, Lee Strobel, teaching pastor of Willow Creek Community Church at the time, shared a series of messages entitled "What Would Jesus Say." His goal was to help people see well-known personalities as Jesus might see them. Through people such as Bill Clinton, Michael Jordan, Donald Trump and even Madonna, Lee endeavoured to introduce people to God's heart, talking about topics such as success, sexuality, forgiveness, prayer and leadership.
I like the concept. We are called to walk in Jesus' steps – to know his heart and his mind, and then to be his hands and feet to the world. How would Jesus relate to people in our culture? What would he say … to your neighbours and the people you work or study with?
We don't want to presume on Jesus but through reading the gospel records we start to catch a glimpse of his heart for people and how he related to them. Interestingly, the only people Jesus ever got angry with were religious people who were living hypocritical lives. When it came to 'sinners', he was criticised by others as being their 'friend' because he came along side them, he got into their world, and he endeavoured to reach them with the Father's love. What an example for us. Jesus was fully 'in' the world but clearly 'not of' the world, enabling him to bring about transformation in people's lives.
A few years ago I spoke on 'What would Jesus say to Santa Claus?' for our Christmas church meetings. It went really well.
This coming Father's Day I'm going to speak on 'What would Jesus say to Homer Simpson?' Whether you are a Simpsons fan or not, we have to recognise that it is one of the most popular TV series of all time and that it influences 21st century families. So what would Jesus say?
What do you think? Feel free to post a comment … I might even use it in my message!
[EDIT: For a brief summary of my Father's Day message – "What would Jesus say to Homer Simpson?", click here – 'Jesus and Homer']