One question. How did Jesus respond to violence?
Let’s find out.
The government ordered his death and sent soldiers to kill him … so his parents, rather than standing their ground, fled the country with him.
Surrounded by men who wanted him dead … he stood his ground, and armed only with reason, he reasoned with them, and disarmed them.
On another occasion, they tried to lynch him … so instead of standing his ground, he eluded them.
When one of his disciples understood that his life was in jeopardy and displayed weapons with which to defend him … he chastised the disciple, turned, and walked away.
When as intruders in the night they came to haul him off to murder him and a friend drew his weapon and began to actively defend him … he rebuked his friend for doing so, powerfully attended to the needs of the wounded, and then went away willingly with his captors.
When his captors had him beaten and whipped … he remained silent and passive, not even uttering a single violent word.
And though he had access to unlimited power to have himself released from the post on which they had nailed him and had hoisted him up high from the ground … he did not exercise that power at all, choosing instead to voluntarily die with a prayer on his lips for his murders’ forgiveness.
And so, two questions now come to my mind:
(1) How did I miss all of this for most of my life as a Christian?
(2) Is the record of my Lord behaving so merely a record of his unique life and experience or was this record made for that purpose and intended to teach all who would follow Jesus as to how to follow him when they find themselves faced with violence?