|November 10, 2021
” Then the men stepped forward, seized Jesus and arrested him. With that, one of Jesus’ companions reached for his sword, drew it out and struck the servant of the high priest, cutting off his ear.
“Put your sword back in its place,” Jesus said to him, “for all who draw the sword will die by the sword. Do you think I cannot call on my Father, and he will at once put at my disposal more than twelve legions of angels , But how then would the Scriptures be fulfilled that say it must happen in this way?”
Do we have to defend God ? And if we would need to do such a thing, what God would we be defending ? Most countries who go to war, say that they are doing it to defend themselves. Very few countries admit to starting a war. They are most often saying that we are just responding to others’ actions or doing a pre-emptive strike because ” we ” knew they were going to attack ” us”. We had to act first. Many countries say they are defending God and their own understanding of faith. God doesn’t need defending.
In the above passage do Jesus’ actions say that violence is never the answer. Never for all of history. I interpret it that way. Augustine, an early church convert and believer, wrote extensively on the just-war theory. Offensive actions are wrong, but there are rules about going to war, and rules of being in war. You cannot just do what you want to in war. You have to justify it. and you can break the rules, if you can justify it.
Does the passage call for non-violence in all things ? I interpret it that way. My dad and grandfather ( on my mother’s side ) were conscientious objectors in WWII and WWI. My grandfather was a medic on a Russian hospital ship in the Black Sea. They treated both Russians and Turks, who were enemies in World War One. Some hospital ships were torpedoed, either by chance or by planning, but my grandfather’s ship was never bombed.
Would we ever ask Jesus to send down legions of angels to destroy anyone ? I interpret the above passage to say ” no” What do you think about war and nonviolence ? Can we ever advocate for violence. You have heard my opinion, what would you say ?
Soaring like Vultures
lifted up by unseen Hands
Trust, silent enters my fears Monica Pieper Landoni 2021