As the time approached for him to be taken up to heaven, Jesus resolutely set out for Jerusalem. And he sent messengers on ahead, who went into a Samaritan village to get things ready for him; but the people there did not welcome him, because he was heading for Jerusalem. (Samaritans and Jews disliked each other based on their religious pasts. Samaritans felt true worship should be at a location in Samaria so anyone going to Jerusalem was not welcome.) When the disciples James and John saw this, they asked, “Lord, do you want us to call fire down from heaven to destroy them?” But Jesus turned and rebuked them, and they went to another village.
While I love the idea behind the WWJD concept (in every situation ask yourself “What Would Jesus Do?” and then do that) I find it interesting that the very men who walked with Him, talked with Him and lived with Him were often clueless as to what He was going to do. James and John were following a Biblical precedent of calling fire down on those who oppose the Lord (2 Kings 2:12-14) but they were rebuked for their suggestion. Perhaps they asked, “WWJD when insulted like this?” and, based on Scriptural precedent, they decided He would destroy these evil people. They accurately understood the Word of God but they totally missed the Heart of God.
Like a bird needs two wings to fly, if we are to WWJD (can I turn that acronym into a verb?) we need to understand not only the Word of God but also the Spirit of God. They aren’t in opposition but balance requires both. Truly understanding our Heavenly Father requires both insight into the Word but also insight into the Spirit of God. Those heavy into just the Word can tend toward harshness and legalism as James and John demonstrated. Those who lean on sensing the Spirit but neglect the Word can veer into gushy sentimentalism and trying to follow God based on every fleeting emotion.
As has often been said:
If you have the Word without the Spirit you’ll dry up.
If you have the Spirit without the Word you’ll blow up.
But if you have the Word and the Spirit you’ll grow up.
John 16:13; 17;17
But when he, the Spirit of truth, comes, he will guide you into all truth. … your word is truth.