News of the Charlottesville riots continues to permeate social media, tv, radio, and even our conversations with each other. Revenge, violence, eradication of the enemy are all things we have heard in the last few days, and if we are honest, probably thought to ourselves, too. We unpacked the Parable of the Weeds and Jesus’ Great Commission yesterday, which showed that Jesus’ charge for us is not to be his soldiers, but to be his evangelizers. Sadly, far too many people are rallying for dramatic and immediate justice. The impulse for justice is natural, especially in a society such as ours that is predicated upon it. However, as much as we like to think our version of justice embodies infallibility of the famous blind-folded Lady Justice, decisions are still adjudicated by us, imperfect and biased as we all are. As discussed yesterday in the Parable of the Weeds, there will be one judgement in the end adjudicated by God himself, and that will be the ultimate, and perfect separation of the righteous from the wicked. So are we to sit back and just wait until Judgement Day? Of course not. But are we to seek our own version of justice immediately? No. At the end of his life, when Jesus was approached by the mob led by Judas coming to take him away from his disciples, Simon Peter drew his sword and cut off the ear of Malchus, one of the mob. To this Jesus sharply responded, “Put your sword back into its place. For all who take the sword will perish by the sword.” In this swift rebuke of Peter’s impulse for justice, Jesus reveals yet again that in-kind violence is not the Christian response to evil. An eye-for-an-eye mentality is not justice, it is revenge. It is a carnal desire that is no different from any other sin, but for some, has been mistaken as somehow justifiable. The point of being a Christian is to be saved, and then introduce Jesus to others so that they may be saved. It is not to be saved, and then wage war against the unsaved. Pray today for the Holy Spirit to guide your thoughts and actions and to allow Jesus voice to be heard above the fog of heated debate.
Then Jesus said to him, “Put your sword back into its place. For all who take the sword will perish by the sword.” – Matthew 26:52