February 26, 2023

Is Jesus Woke?


Jesus came proclaiming good news to the poor, proclaiming liberty to captives, opening the eyes of the blind, and setting the oppressed free. Does that mean he was “woke”? What does “woke” even mean? The use of the term has certainly evolved over time.  

The word “woke” originated in the African American community. In 1938, the Black American singer-songwriter Lead Belly, in an afterword to one of his songs, said, “I advise everybody, be a little careful when they go along through there – best stay woke, keep their eyes open.”  

Some scholars argue that “stay woke” echoes Martin Luther King Jr.’s words in 1968, just months before his death: “Today, our very survival depends on our ability to stay awake, to adjust to new ideas, to remain vigilant and to face the challenge of change.”

I believe we can safely say that originally the word was used as an equivalent to “awake.” To be “woke” meant that one was alert to racial prejudice and social discrimination. African Americans were encouraged to be aware of and actively attentive to these issues. How would Jesus interact with this original definition of “woke”?  

Reflection Questions:

  1. How has Jesus changed your way of seeing people who are different from you?
  2. Who is Jesus asking you to befriend?
  3. What would it look like for you to be family to the newcomers to Willingdon?


Resources for Series: Elephant in the Room

Dig deeper into the “hard questions” brought up during the sermon series. Below are a series of resources our pastors felt was helpful.


The Reason For God – Tim Keller
Available on,,

Another Gospel? – Alisa Childers
Available on,,

A Doubter’s Guide to World Religious – John Dickson
Available on,,

Bullies and Saints: An Honest Look at the Good and Evil of Christian History – John Dickson
Available on,,

Thinking? – Andy Steiger
Available on,

Surviving Religion 101 – Michael J Kruger
Available on,,

Love Thy Body – Nancy Pearcey
Available on,,

Reappearing Church – Mark Sayers
Available on,,

Bridge Building – Alister McGrath
Available on

Confronting Christianity – Rebecca McLaughlin
Available on,,

Can Science Explain Everything? – John C Lennox
Available on,,

Mamma Bear Apologetics – Hilary Morgan Ferrer
Available on,,

*Please note the retailers listed are only for reference and not intended to be an endorsement of the site, company or organization.


Apologetics Canada
Apple Podcast, Spotify Podcast

Mama Bear Apologetics
Apple Podcast, Spotify Podcast

Reasonable Faith (with William Lane Craig)
Apple Podcast, Spotify Podcast

The Alisa Childers
Apple Podcast, Spotify Podcast

The Becket Cook Show
Apple Podcast, Spotify Podcast

Unbelievable? (Justin Brierley)
Apple Podcast, Spotify Podcast

This Cultural Moment (Mark Sayers/John Mark Comer)
Apple Podcasts, Spotify Podcast