What is Jesus weapons?

A BIBLE CASE FOR THE PREVENTION OF GUN VIOLENCE. There are three presuppositions: 1) God’s will is nonviolent love; 2) People activate the weapon. The weapon kills; 3) With God’s grace we are set free to be transformed by the renewal of our minds, so that we can discern what God’s will is.

1. The Word begins with the Creation. The place is Eden. Culture is SHALOM: harmony, balance, peace and nonviolence. 2. Violence occurs through humanity’s sinful choice. Cain chose to kill Abel. 3. The Ten Commandments are nonviolent laws for community and connection with God and one another. 4. Personal acts of murder and suicide are not justified. 5. Violence in conflicts between tribes and cultures is a political decision with frequent theological justifications. We must ask: Is God justifying or does human leadership justify violent actions in the name of God? 6. Scripture validates the legal, social and moral permissions for the use of weapons for hunting, sport and defense of home and country. 7. Sin is always part of the gun conversation. In Paul’s words: “The good I want to do, I don’t do. The evil I don’t want to do, I do.” 8. Isaiah speaks of the coming of the Messiah as “Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Eternal Father, and Prince of Peace,” all strong, nonviolent images. 9. The “peaceful kingdom” in Isaiah speaks of “the wolf shall dwell with the lamb, the leopard shall lie down with the kid,” all nonviolent images. 10. Jesus’ fundamental ethic is nonviolence. There is no account of Jesus using or carrying a weapon. 11. Jesus’ strongest words regarding the use of weapons are: “Whoever wounds by the sword will die by the sword”. “Enough!” “Enough of this!” 12. Strangely, some of Jesus’ disciples appear to have carried swords. However, the aforementioned words of Jesus tempered the use of these weapons. 13. Paul says the duty of government is to “ensure good conduct,” implying that it may be necessary for government to use arms or force. Yet, significantly, this exhortation is accompanied by exhortations to love, once again moderating the use of weapons. Furthermore, the government leadership had no Christians in decision-making positions. Was Paul a practical realist? 14. Paul tells Jesus’ followers to prepare for difficult times by being witnesses. He urged them to “Put on the armor of God, the helmet of salvation, the breastplate of righteousness, the girdle of truth, the sandals of peace, and the sword of the Spirit,” all strong images of nonviolent armor. 15. Paul presents the fruits of the Spirit as: “Love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, meekness, faithfulness, generosity and self-control.” They are all nonviolent expressions of Christ given to Jesus’ followers. 16. Revelation concludes the Word with nonviolent promises of a “new heaven and a new earth where there will be no more death, mourning, weeping and pain there will be more”.

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The weapon of personality

Second, Jesus had a great personality. The Gospels portray him as a kind teacher, compassionate friend, popular speaker, kind leader, and compelling storyteller.

he He was persuasive, very good with words. Perhaps he could have persuaded his enemy not to strike so hard, or to join him in a peaceful chant of “Kumbaya”.

Sell your cloak and buy a sword

In Luke 22, Jesus addresses his disciples shortly before his arrest, trial and finally crucifixion. He reminds them how their earthly needs were providentially met when he sent them forth to minister (Luke 9:1-6). However, Jesus warns that he will soon no longer be with them and that in his absence they cannot expect the same level of protection and provision they received when he was physically present with them. Thus, Jesus instructs his disciples to take appropriate steps to be ready to fend for themselves. Buying a sword is explicitly mentioned as one of these measures. Here is the relevant passage:

And he said to them: “When I sent you without purse, backpack or sandals, were you missing something?” They said, “Nothing.” He said to them: «But now whoever has a bag, take it and also a saddlebag. And whoever has no sword, sell his cloak and buy one. For I tell you that this scripture must be fulfilled in me: “And he was numbered among the transgressors.” For what is written of me has its fulfilment.” And they said: “Look, Lord, here are two swords.” And he said to them, “Enough.” (Luke 22:35-37, ESV)

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