What would Jesus do if a neighbor cut down his tree without permission?

What would you do if your neighbor cut down your tree without permission?

Would you wake up at 2 AM with that question on your mind? Yeah, I wouldn't either except I did.

Would you wander forlornly to the patio window while at home the next day and mutter that question while gazing at the empty corner of the yard?

One nice thing about being a writer is I sometimes (okay, sometimes can sometimes be more than sometimes) answer my own questions -- out loud. When other people are around.

I was doing that yesterday. At least we shared a laugh or two.

I'd say to myself: Would it do any good to ring my neighbor's doorbell and ask her, "What would you do if a neighbor cut down your tree without permission?" I'd be interested in her answer. I like her, I don't want to make her mad, inquiring minds just want to know. So, I still don't know the final answer.

At dinner last night, I asked my husband and my college-aged son, "What would you do...?" Those two have mastered the what-does-she-want-us-to-say-now stare. So I answered my own question, again, with, "Maybe I'd punch her in the nose." I wouldn't, of course. That wouldn't be a very good witness of the love of Christ.

Hmm. Now there's a new thought that can get me up in the middle of the night to write this blog so I can finally get back to sleep: What would Jesus do if a neighbor cut down his tree without permission?

Possible responses:

  • Jesus would say, "Blessed are the treeless, for they have more room to work on a great tan."
  • Jesus would have draw hearts and rainbows and ferocious lions and bears in the ground around the stump of the tree, glancing now and then at his neighbor's house.
  • Jesus would not be bothered by the loss since he had already decided to work as a traveling teacher and healer and sleep under other people's trees.
  • Jesus would use his carpentry skills to carve a branch of that untimely felled tree. When the time was right, he would take the staff to beat and upturn the money lending tables when he saw his neighbor selling firewood.
  • I don't believe Jesus would have followed the law of retribution that allowed victims to exact an eye for an eye, so I don't think he would pluck out his neighbor's fig tree. But he might have wanted to.
  • Jesus would have prayed, "Father, forgive them, for they know not what they do."
  • Jesus would have continued praying, "Father, forgive them, for they know not what I would do."

If I had to vote right now, I think I'd chose the last two options. After all, I'm a registered Presbyterian and my husband said mainstream Christians wouldn't appreciate this side of my sense of humor. When I taught youth, they did.

What do you think Jesus would do if a neighbor cut down his tree without permission?


  1. Maybe Jesus would turn the other cheek and give His cloak also, or in this case plant 100 bamboo shoots in the neighbor's yard. then if she cuts them down they'll just grow right back up again.

  2. Possible.

    In the spirit of give your cloak also, I thought Jesus might cut down another tree and leave it in her yard.



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