Jesus answered all of humanity’s questions about God that had caused them to flip-flop over who God was for thousands of years. The schizophrenic nature of God that had been believed in throughout the Old Testament was put to rest on the cross. When Jesus said, “It is finished”, part of what was finished was the putting to rest man’s false projections of who God was and what He was like. He was not an angry monster but a lover who would die for his darkest of enemies rather than kill them. His justice was of another world because it was based on love and restoration instead of death and destruction.
To think that God somehow comes away from the cross and goes back to sometimes being an angry-vengeful God is to go right back under the Old Testament veil that blinds one from seeing God clearly. If you have seen Jesus you have seen the Father. Jesus loves the world to death, literally. Sometimes humans still love the world unto the death of others in the name of justice but God doesn’t function that way.
Do you see the difference?
Maybe this is why the radicalness of Christianity is sometimes non-existent in America? Maybe many Christians live one nation under Guns instead of one nation under God? Maybe nationalism or political correctness is valued ahead of Kingdom correctness? Maybe safety and comfort is more important than learning to love our enemies.
These are more questions and inquiring observations than they are judgments.
Anyways, how many people did Jesus kill?
And no, the apocalyptic/subversive imagery from Revelation doesn’t count. The revelation of Jesus Christ was seen in His life, death and ascension, which the book of Revelation confirms as Jesus being revealed as the rightful King of the earth. This is why the symbolic picture of a sword coming out of His mouth in the Book of Revelation is exactly that; a symbol of the power of His words that say things like:
“Love your enemies even unto death.”
“You will reap what you sow. If you sow judgment you will reap judgment. If you sow love you will reap love.”
“When you are persecuted, bless your enemies and don’t fight them. My Kingdom is not of this world, if it was my people would fight like the military but their battle is not against flesh and blood.”
“Don’t use the sword to hurt people for those who live by the sword die by the sword.”
“My ways of loving the world is foolishness to the wise but loving our enemies will one day cause nations to no longer train for war.”
“Some of you will die for following me but don’t fear those who can destroy your body.”
You see the sword of his mouth is what fights against enemies in order to cast down every argument that exalts itself above the knowledge of God. When the words of His mouth are believed and lived, the true peace from the Prince of Peace can manifest. This is why he said in one place, “I have not come to bring peace but a sword.” He said this because His words divide people who do not value God’s ways of peace. He didn’t come to use a literal sword for this would undo his entire life teaching. Again, the sword was his mouth. This is why another author said:
“For the word of God is alive and active. Sharper than any double-edged sword, it penetrates even to dividing soul and spirit, joints and marrow; it judges the thoughts and attitudes of the heart.”
You see God’s peace is different than the world’s way of securing peace. In Jesus’ day he went up against the Roman Empire, a military powerhouse that used war and violence to bring peace to its land. Jesus also went up against a violent religious culture that stoned people to death if they broke the law. These two powerhouses of politics and religion thought death was the way you conquer and secure peace. These 2 movements eventually killed Jesus without Him ever striking anyone in the face.
Jesus’ resurrection proved that Loving your enemies unto death is more powerful than death itself! Jesus inaugurated God’s plan to bring peace to mankind through the love of His people that won’t use death as a weapon to bring peace to the world! Death has no victory so let’s stop using it and pretending it does! Jesus put this way of ruling the world to open shame!
This is foolishness to the world but it is the only substance of Love that will actually transform the world. Many think Jesus was a passive pansy and was stupid for not using violence to bring peace but what they fail to realize is that it actually takes more courage to love your enemies unto death than it does to kill them. Jesus did far more by walking in love with his gifts of the prophetic and healing than He ever could have with a literal sword in His hand.
We must violently take hold of the Kingdom of God without using literal violence, which then actualizes God’s domain on the earth, even if we die doing it. Jesus is truly our example. This should give you fresh context for us in comfortable America in what it means to take up our cross in order to follow Him. But all this means that whether we live or die, we can trust Him because we know that neither death nor life can separate us from His love!
We have a long ways to go so let the sword of His mouth cut us deeply, while we rest assured that of the increase of “His” way of peace there is no end.
Do you believe the sword of Jesus’ mouth (teaching) is more powerful than the literal sword?
Ask Him to build your faith as you keep your eyes fixed on Him. Lord, teach us how to pray.