THE JESUS SWAGGER

When Jesus could have healed Lazarus, but God tells Jesus to pause.  Lazarus died.  What good friend lets another die?

Image of John Wayne

He was 6’4” with a long, lanky body. Viewing his early films of the 1930s, he looks very stiff and a bit awkward. Slowly but surely, he learned to move in a very slow, deliberate way. The gait of John Wayne, the actor, “was slightly tipsy, slightly off-balance looking, rough, tough, and rugged”. He chose his walk, his trademark swagger.

WHAT IS THE JESUS WALK?

Jesus’ walk is also unique. What does it mean when John writes: By this we know that we are in Him: the one who says that he remains in Him ought, himself also, walk just as He walked”?  What is this Jesus walk? Earlier in the passage, there is a connection made between behavior (how we walk) and knowing Him. “By this we know that we have come to know Him, if we keep His commandments.” (I John 2:3-6)

CHEERS OR JEERS?

What were Jesus’ commandments? Read the Gospels. Jesus doesn’t conduct Himself according to the cultural norm. The disciples find this a wild unpredictable ride. Daily, Jesus spends time with His Father and follows the Father’s instructions for that day. This can lead to the unusual. One day the disciples find themselves taking a boat to visit a demoniac and another day visit a scandalous woman who belongs to “those people”; a group which good Jewish people do not associate with. The 12 never know if the next town will bring cheers or jeers.

Remember that occasion when Jesus could have healed Lazarus, but God tells Jesus to pause?  Lazarus died.  What good friend lets another die? Mary and Martha are none too pleased when Jesus shows up late to the funeral. Jesus often does not meet peoples’ expectations. He doesn’t play by the rules of the Pharisees or the Sadducees. When they condemn to death the woman caught in adultery, Jesus kneels and scribbles in the dust. They expect Him to launch the first stone.  Instead, He forgives her.

JESUS WOULD NOT GET A GREAT JOB EVALUATION

Let’s be honest, if you were Jesus’ employer and had to give Him a job evaluation, He would not excel on the spectrum.  For example, you would give Him negative points for planning. He spends hours speaking to thousands of people and after the fact (seemingly, off the cuff) asks the 12 to supply lunch. Jesus doesn’t even use hand sanitizer when He touches the lepers.

He is disruptive and uncooperative with local commerce and causes a big scene at the Temple. When an employee should be fired because of betrayal, Jesus welcomes him back with open arms and appoints him the leader of the group. In other words, by our standards, Jesus would be fired and His walk would be exiting out the door.

ONLY ONE BOSS

Jesus is not a good employee of mankind because He only follows one Boss, His Heavenly Father.  He came to do His Father’s will. That was and is His pattern every day of His life. Maybe you are a little stiff and a bit awkward with this whole concept of walking as Jesus walked. Is your aim to learn to move in a deliberate way that only aims to please Him? Do you let go of your schedule and with open hands accept Jesus’ priorities, uncomfortable situations, and the upheaval which He can bring to your life?  Have you learned to trust Him?

LEARN THE SWAGGER

Yes, your Jesus walk might at times appear slightly off-balance, rough, and not blend in with everyone else. But, “whoever says he lives in Christ [that is, whoever says he has accepted Him as God and Savior] ought [as a moral obligation] to walk and conduct himself just as He walked and conducted Himself. (I John 2:6).  It’s the only walk that glorifies Christ. Learn the Jesus swagger.

Suggested further study: George Whitefield, a Christ follower who God used to shake the world with his footsteps

Author: Jacquelin Stoner

I have had years of walking alongside of individuals, encouraging those who want to change, but need help navigating to the better place God has envisioned for their lives. I believe Christ is central to genuine lasting life change.

Delight in helping women to discover wholeness in their "New Normal".