After he said these things, Jesus went out with his disciples and crossed over to the other side of the Kidron Valley. He and his disciples entered a garden there. Judas, his betrayer, also knew the place because Jesus often gathered there with his disciples. Judas brought a company of soldiers and some guards from the chief priests and Pharisees. They came there carrying lanterns, torches, and weapons... When those around him recognized what was about to happen, they said, “Lord, should we fight with our swords?” ... Then they came and grabbed Jesus and arrested him. One of those with Jesus reached for his sword. Striking the high priest’s slave, he cut off his ear. Then Jesus said to him,
“Put the sword back into its place. All those who use the sword will die by the sword. Or do you think that I’m not able to ask my Father and he will send to me more than twelve battle groups of angels right away? But if I did that, how would the scriptures be fulfilled that say this must happen?”
John 18:1-3, Luke 22:49, Matthew 26:50-54
Just as Ecclesiastes 3:8 says, there is "a time for war, and a time for peace." Sometimes we are called to take up arms and other times we are told to stay. Either way, if you are ONLY depending on the sword to save you, you will fail. You need the wisdom of God for war, and you need the wisdom of God for peace. Jesus is one with God, and therefore knows what is in God's heart always. He knew that he needed violence when he cleared the temple to prove his point that dishonesty and theft would not be tolerated - and especially not using the church as a front for those behaviors. It was a holy violence. But he also knew that Scripture said he had to die on the cross to save the human race. It was a holy act of nonviolence. Regardless of what you do, you MUST consult God about your actions. One of my favorite books is The Hiding Place by Corrie ten Boom about her struggles as a Christian during World War II hiding Jews from the Nazis. At that tumultuous time, Corrie's sister Nollie insisted on telling the truth - no matter the consequences. She told the truth when asked if a lady she was with was Jewish - and they were both arrested, but later released. Nollie's daughter told the truth about her brothers in hiding when Germans were searching for them to force them to work in labor camps, but God protected the family and kept them intact. God was there in all of these interactions, and He is with us too if we trust in Him and His guidance!
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(Start at the beginning of the series HERE.)