Terrorists fought Jesus constantly. In his day the government was the terrorist. Before the United States came into being that was the norm. That’s why we declared our independence and rallied behind the slogan, “Don’t tread on me!”
Jesus lived his entire life was under the threat of murder from religious and political powers. When Jesus was an infant, “King Herod saw that he had been tricked by the wise men, became furious, and he sent and killed all the male children in Bethlehem.” (Matthew 2:16–18)
Jesus anti-terrorist strategy was a huge disappointment to many. The radical extremists and general populace he lived among believed Messiah would come and set them free. They were sure he would overthrow the tyrannical terrifying Roman government of their day and set them free. Jesus failed them.
Even his own disciples became disillusioned. “Jesus began to show his disciples that he must go to Jerusalem and suffer many things…and be killed, and on the third day be raised.
Peter took him aside and began to rebuke him, saying, “Far be it from you, Lord! This shall never happen to you.”
But he turned and said to Peter, “Get behind me, Satan! You are a hindrance to me. For you are not setting your mind on the things of God, but on the things of man.”” (Matthew 16:21–23)
Impatient for action, Judas may have set up Jesus’ arrest expecting Jesus to finally rise up and fight! Jesus didn’t and devastated Judas hung himself.
Taking charge, Peter pulled out a sword and cut off a soldier’s ear. Jesus, taking charge back, commanded Peter to put down his sword, gently healed Malthus’ ear, and allowed himself to be led away, like a lamb to the slaughter. All of his disciples. “left him and fled.” (Mark 14:50)
Jesus doesn’t think like us. He doesn’t think in terms of massacring the patrons of a bar—gay or otherwise. In fact, he was accused of hanging out with sinners, drunks, and sexually promiscuous partiers. When Jesus heard it, he said to them, “Those who are well have no need of a physician, but those who are sick. I came not to call the righteous, but sinners.”” (Mark 2:16–17)
Jesus is not for massacring anyone. “He came into the world not to condemn the world but that the world through him might be saved.” (John 3:17)
Jesus strategy for responding to evil is counter-intuitive and may seem illogical and even wrong. Some pass right by his teaching, “But I say to you who hear, Love your enemies, do good to those who hate you, bless those who curse you, pray for those who abuse you.” (Luke 6:27–28) Yet, he says that we love him if we obey his commands. (John 14:15)
Jesus strategy addresses our deepest fear—death. He says, “I tell you, my friends, do not fear those who kill the body, and after that have nothing more that they can do. But I will warn you whom to fear: fear God…Yes, I tell you, fear him!” (Luke 12:4–5)
Finally, Jesus commands, “Do not judge by appearances, but judge with right judgment.” (John 7:24)
“Giv’m heaven!”—John Parker
John Parker serves with Connections Simple Church of Chowchilla meeting 10 AM Sundays at Carty Center, 609 W. Robertson Blvd. Learn more at: www.simplechurchsuccess.com or contact John at (209) 564-7201