(I can’t resist the urge to keep tweaking the previous blog. Thanks for being forbearing.)
How incredible that during this Christmas season we’ve been arguing about guns. This season when we send cards and sing songs about the Prince of Peace. “What would Jesus do?” some people ask when trying to make a moral decision. Apparently many think Jesus would arm himself to the hilt.
I’ve been trying to imagine that kind of Jesus.
Joseph was so determined to protect the vulnerable infant that he kept a gun right there beside the manger. As the shepherds, the Wise Men, the angels approached, he said, “Don’t come any closer,” successfully keeping them at bay. As Jesus got a little older Joseph taught him to fire a weapon at a target in the shape of a Roman soldier.
Later, when he recruited disciples, the Jesus I’m imagining made sure they were armed. After all, we know from the Good Samaritan story that robbers preyed on travelers. And there were all those dangerous Romans soldier occupying the land, denying the Jews of all liberties. Surely Jesus and the twelve spent hours by Lake Galilee practicing their shooting skills.
One day Judas said, “I hear the Romans have new guns, more powerful than an ordinary rifle. Their guns can shoot bullets in rapid succession.”
“Then we must have them too,” Jesus replied. When Judas returned with thirteen AK-47s, Jesus and the twelve had confidence that these weapons would provide the protection they needed. Besides, firing these guns made them feel like real men.
When crowds began to gather around him, a gun-toting Jesus told this parable: “One time there was a wealthy merchant. A robber came to his place of business, but the merchant had a gun and was able to kill the robber. Behold, we live in dangerous times when we must protect our families and ourselves. Only with powerful weapons are we safe.” And the crowds believed him.
What about the night Jesus was arrested? While some of the disciples napped, others played cards. Jesus, though, was engrossed in prayer. So he was taken completely by surprise when Roman soldiers burst on the scene. Still, he was able to reach for his AK-47 fast enough. The disciples too. They mowed those soldiers down—like the good guys do in movies.
No, that’s not the Jesus I know either.