General Jesus: I just get a very funny picture in my head every time a Pastor says that Jesus came to us as a warrior. I immediately begin picturing Him decked out in military gear strapped with grenades every time I hear that. Actually, it is even funnier when we consider he came as a helpless infant.
Where did this warrior Jesus concept come from anyway? Do Christians somehow have the desire to draw blood? Are there those in the leadership today who yearn for the crusades of centuries past? I’m curious to know exactly what it is that makes my fellow Christians conjure up this backwards concept of a soldier savior. The entire concept of going into battle begs for resistance. Fighting to be heard! I don’t think so. I seem to remember “those who have ears to hear” being the words of a missionary and not the military. Forced faith by the edge of a sword or do I recall Christ mentioning that “he who lives by the sword shall die by the sword.”
What kind of warped uneducated mind would come up with such a ridiculous concept? Could we sell the idea of a warrior Jesus? Maybe he could have His own TV series on HBO? After all, the Sopranos had been a terrific success. Imagine Jesus marching down the streets of New Jersey with the boys backing up his every move. I can’t picture Jesus saying, “You mess with me you mess with my entire family!” How about Peter being sent out to collect the tithe and the disciples running illegal bingo games in between shake downs. Again Jesus said, “Peace be with you! As the Father has sent me, I am sending you.” (John 20:21 New International Version) How could we find a warrior personality in someone who makes statements like this? Just a thought, “Perhaps these people are suffering from the effects of long term steroid use.”
Picture this, Jesus says, “Peace be with you! As the Father has sent me, I am sending you.” (John 20:21 New International Version) As he whips out an Uzi and unloads on everything within reach. I don’t think so! He went forth in peace and sent his disciples out in kind.
I recall a prayer night at a local church I attended a few months back where the most petite beauty began to scream in a rage of violence, “This is a battle! We are at war!” If we think we are in battle we shall be cast into a war. This is totally contrary to the ideals of Jesus.
When we are doing things that glorify God we have no competition. Who could come up against God and have even the slightest prayer to succeed? He is the all mighty! The undisputed heavyweight champion of the universe is not capable of failure.
You see, this church got a little off the path and began to seek the glory of self over that of God. They put forward a business venture without seeking the input of the congregation. The puppet board bought the concept hook line and sinker, voted yes and spent the tithes on a business destine for failure to a tune of $450,000. The members began to drop like flies. Suddenly the town threatened to take away their nonprofit status and what was once the crowning force in the Christian community began its steady demise.
You see my friends, when we go to battle we must recognize who it is that we are truly fighting. Many times to our surprise it is our selves. If God is with us who can stand against? It is in our imagination that the battle is raging. While doing the will of God we are overly equipped to handle any perceived enemy. As we feel we are going against we must “Be Still” and ask ourselves, “Who are we fighting?” Most often the answer will be, “The will of God!”
Religion has unwittingly become the largest opponent in the propagation of the Faith. It is more than our responsibility to reverse the escalation of this terrible truth. We have quickly become our own worst enemy. And knowing their thoughts, He said to them, Any kingdom that is divided against itself is being brought to desolation and laid waste, and no city or house divided against itself will last or continue to stand. (Matthew 12:25 Amplified Bible) Where does this battle truly exist? Neither shall they say, Lo here! or, lo there! for, behold, the kingdom of God is within you. (Luke 17:21 King James Version)
There exists no militant Jesus! He came to us in peace. He laid down His life for us without resistance, absent of violence and trusting God. His final blast of the proverbial Uzi, “Father, forgive them; for they know not what they do.” (Luke 23:34)
How can any of us stand before the congregation adamantly proclaiming that we are warriors of Jesus as he said, “Give to him that asketh thee, and from him that would borrow of thee turn not thou away? Ye have heard that it hath been said, Thou shalt love thy neighbour, and hate thine enemy. But I say unto you, Love your enemies, bless them that curse you, do good to them that hate you, and pray for them which despitefully use you, and persecute you;” (Matthew 5:42-44 King James Version)
The mouth of the righteous man utters wisdom, and his tongue speaks what is just. (Psalm 37:30 New International Version) It is by our own tongue that we suffer or succeed. The tongue has the power of life and death, and those who love it will eat its fruit. (Proverbs 18:21 New International Version) ”
Well said, teacher,” the man replied. “You are right in saying that God is one and there is no other but him. To love him with all your heart, with all your understanding and with all your strength, and to love your neighbor as yourself is more important than all burnt offerings and sacrifices.” When Jesus saw that he had answered wisely, he said to him, “You are not far from the kingdom of God.” And from then on no one dared ask him any more questions. (Mark 12:32-34 New International Version)
A man who fights after the battle is won forfeits his victory. We are all saved by the blood of Jesus. The battle no longer exists unless we veer off the path of righteousness. By staying straight in the Word and continuing the course we shall triumph and stand strong, protected, guided and covered by the love of the Father, Son and the Holy Spirit.