What would Jesus do with weapons?

Was Jesus a Pacifist?



A pacifist is someone who is fundamentally against violence, especially war. A pacifist often refuses to bear arms for reasons of conscience or religious beliefs.

Jesus is the "Prince of Peace" (Isaiah 9: 5) because one day he will bring true and lasting peace to earth. And his message in this world was remarkably non-violent (Matthew 5: 38-44) The Bible makes it clear that war is sometimes required (see Psalm 144: 1). And given some Bible prophecies about Jesus, it is difficult to call him a pacifist. Revelation 19:15 speaks of Jesus, declaring, “And from his Mouth went a sharp sword that he would smite the peoples with it; and he will rule them with an iron rod, and he will kick the winepress full of the wine of the fierce wrath of God Almighty. " For Jesus to establish the millennial kingdom, violence in the form of war against the powers of the anti-Christian will be required. Jesus will be clothed "with a robe that is in blood" (Revelation 19:13).

When Jesus met the Roman centurion, Jesus received approval from the soldier, healed his servant, and praised his faith (Matthew 8: 5-13). But Jesus didn't tell the centurion to quit the army for the simple reason that Jesus wasn't preaching pacifism. John the Baptist also met soldiers and they asked him, “What should we do?” (Luke 3:14). This would have been the perfect opportunity for John to tell them to completely lay down their arms. But he did not do it. Rather, Johannes said to the soldiers: "Do not violence or injustice to anyone and let your wages suffice".

The disciples of Jesus had weapons, which goes against the idea that Jesus was a pacifist. The night Jesus was betrayed, he even urged his followers to get swords. They had two that Jesus found sufficient (Luke 22: 37-39). When Jesus was arrested, Peter drew his sword and wounded a man present (John 18:10). Jesus healed the man (Luke 22:51) and told Peter to put down his weapon (John 18:11). It should be noted here that Jesus did not condemn Peter for having a weapon, only for using it incorrectly here.

The book Ecclesiastes presents the balance of life by comparing activities with one another: “Everyone has a time, and everything under heaven has an hour: ... a time to kill, a time to heal; A time to break off, a time to build ... a time to love, a time to hate; A time for dispute, a time for peace "(Ecclesiastes 3: 3, 8). These are not the words of a pacifist.

Nor did Jesus sound like a pacifist when he said, “Do not think that I have come to bring peace to earth. I did not come to bring peace, but the sword. For I have come to divide man with his father and the daughter with her mother and the daughter-in-law with her mother-in-law. And the enemies of man will be his own housemates ”(Matthew 10: 34-36). While Jesus does not prescribe warfare, he definitely advocates the conflict caused by the message of truth.

We are not commanded to be pacifists in the usual usage of the word. We are to hate what is bad and cling to good (Romans 12: 9). In doing so, we must take a stand against the evil in this world (which requires conflict) and seek justice (2 Timothy 2:22). Jesus exemplified this pursuit and never avoided conflict when it was part of the Father's divine plan. Jesus openly turned against the religious and political leaders of his time because they did not seek righteousness from God (Luke 13: 31-32; 19: 45-47).

When it comes to defeating evil, God is not a pacifist. The Old Testament is full of examples of how God used his people in war to judge nations whose sin became too great. We find examples in Genesis 15:16; Numbers 21: 3; 31,1-7; 32.20-21; Deuteronomy 7: 1-2; Joshua 6: 20-21; 8.1-8; 10.29-32; 11.7-20. Before the battle of Jericho, Joshua met "the prince over the host of the LORD" (Joshua 5:14). This figure, very likely Christ before his incarnation, is described with a drawn sword in his hand (v. 13). The Lord was ready to fight.

We can be sure that God always judges and wages war with righteousness (Revelation 19:11). "For we know him who said (Deuteronomy 32: 35-36):" Vengeance is mine, I will repay ", and again:" The Lord will judge his people. "It is terrible into the hands of him to fall from the living God ”(Hebrews 10: 30-31). What we learn from these and other biblical passages is that we should only participate in acts of war when they are justified. To respond to aggression, injustice and genocide, war can be justified and we believe that followers of Jesus are free to join the military and participate in acts of war.

English

Back to the German homepage

Was Jesus a Pacifist?
Share this page: