Do you live by the sword? – Today’s Thoughts
by Pastor Lee Hemen
March 9, 2011
Then one of those standing near drew his sword and struck the servant of the high priest, cutting off his ear. “Am I leading a rebellion,” said Jesus, “that you have come out with swords and clubs to capture me? Every day I was with you, teaching in the temple courts, and you did not arrest me. But the Scriptures must be fulfilled.” (Mark 14:47-49 NIV)
There are people in our day and age that actually think Jesus was a revolutionary in the strictest sense of the definition. He was not. In fact we find that his own disciples may have thought he was as well, hence we find Peter, who is the brash person with the ear-cutting sword, drawing a weapon to take up arms in Jesus’ rebellion. Peter forgot, and so do others, that Jesus also remarked during this incident for Peter to “Put your sword back in its place, for all who draw the sword will die by the sword.” (Matthew 26:52 NIV) sure we find Jesus earlier saying, “Do not suppose that I have come to bring peace to the earth. I did not come to bring peace, but a sword.” (Matthew 10:34 NIV) However, he never meant as in a rebellion, but if you read the verse within its context you discover very quickly Jesus meant that he came to bring the sword of truth, his gospel message, which would turn families against one another and such.
There are those who desire Jesus to be a revolutionary to bring freedom for the oppressed masses, but Jesus did not come for that purpose. He came to seek and save the lost. He did so by dying on a cross as the ultimate sacrifice for our sins. I suppose you could say that was revolutionary in that most human beings try and gain spiritual brownie points in life by being nice, good, or polite. It is kind of a cosmic crap shoot whereby if your good deeds outweigh your bad deeds then perhaps you will end up in a nicer camp site for all of eternity. Here is the truth of that situation: You can never gain enough brownie points. Ever. If you could, then Jesus did not even have to be born!
There is just one problem with the scenario of Jesus being a bandolier-wielding guerilla camouflaged revolutionary — he did not advocate living or dying by use of force or terrorism. No one can be forced in to believing in Jesus and Jesus will not force himself on anyone who does not want to believe in him.
Oh sure Jesus can and will open the eyes of those who are in sin through the power of the Holy Spirit, but he does not pry open your eyes, duck tape them, and then drag you down the aisle kicking and screaming to accept him. Jesus was not leading a political social economic rebellion, rather his army was to be about leading people to faith in him. Now, dear child of God, let me ask you: “Do you live by the sword?” The sword Jesus wants his followers to wield has always been the gospel.
Pastor Lee Hemen has been the outspoken pastor of the same church for 25 years in Vancouver, WA. He writes regularly on spirituality and conservative causes and maintains several web blogs. This article is copyrighted © 2011 by Lee Hemen and is the sole property of Lee Hemen, and may not be used unless you quote the entire article and have my permission.