These are two questions I can imagine Jesus training his disciples to ask themselves.
Maybe not at first. The disciples weren’t the sharpest tools in the shed when it came to picking up on what Jesus was teaching them. It took him several tries (at least three) before they caught onto to the announcement of his soon-to-happen death and resurrection.
If it didn’t come any sooner, I am certain Jesus must have taught these two simple questions to the disciples right before he ascended to heaven. You probably know the moment I am thinking of. The final four verses in the book of Matthew. Jesus has already been crucified, buried, and risen from the dead. He has appeared to the women and the disciples. One final time, he stands with the disciples on top of the mountain. He delivers what many refer to as “the Great Commission:”
Jesus came and said to them, “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything that I have commanded you. And remember, I am with you always, to the end of the age. –Matthew 28:18-20
Whether it really happened or not, this is the perfect moment to insert Emma Watson’s two questions. I like to imagine Jesus did. Having just commissioned them, Jesus must have challenged the disciples to ask,
If not me, who? If not now, when? –Emma Watson, UN Speech
Emma’s questions came as a followup to a quote from Statesman Edmond Burke, “All that is needed for the forces of evil to triumph, is for good men and women to do nothing.” The evil she is wanting to extinguish is gender inequality. Jesus would stand strongly beside her in that. He doesn’t stop there, though. He isn’t willing to sit back and let any evil triumph.
Before leaving this earth, he passes the torch to his disciples. “Here you go,” he says. “Everything I’ve done for you and you’ve witness me do for others, duplicate it in your own life. Find as many people as possible in every part of the world who are willing, and empower them to defeat the forces of evil. Teach them to ask, “If not me, who? If not now, when?”
Every Christian everywhere should ask these questions every day. Doing nothing is doing something in favor of the forces of evil. So, let me ask, “If not you, then who? If not now, then when?
If you haven’t already, don’t forget to WATCH Emma’s UN Speech.