A nation of Peace?!
Reading: Matthew 26: 47-56
Additional reading: Matthew 10: 32-39, Mark 16:15, Matthew 25:31–46, 1 Chronicles 28: 2-7
(2) It was when Jesus was captured.
When Peter saw the soldiers taking Jesus away from him, he took the sword and fought back.
This was the only way Peter knew how to deal this kind of situation.
Peter was risking his life for him, as a matter of fact.
But Jesus stopped him saying:
“All who take the sword perish by the sword.”
Even at this moment, Jesus wanted to choose the way of peace.
Peter also needed to choose the way of peace because that is the way of the Christ.
But Peter was so shocked.
He thought Jesus would support him to fight back.
But Jesus was asking him to follow him to the way of peace.
As for Peter, this was more difficult.
Then here Peter discovered a new Jesus.
This Jesus was not the person that he thought he knew.
Peter was not ready to follow this kind of Jesus.
So, he ran away.
It is very difficult to follow this way of peace, knowing you would die.
It is difficult to speak what you believe knowing you will be killed.
It is difficult to boldly follow the way of peace.
But Jesus wanted to achieve his goal in this fashion.
Jesus achieved his goal giving his life away.
But Jesus wanted to start this movement.
Jesus also sought to plant this seed in this world.
So, Jesus said to his students:
“Go into all the world and preach the gospel to all creation.
And make disciples of all nations”
What is the gospel?
The gospel is the story of Jesus as the whole.
Jesus asked them to preach his teaching and his life to all creation.
Then his teaching and his kingdom would grow and grow.
Then it will help many people and nations.
So, to follow this teaching of Jesus, some Christian denominations became peace churches and commit themselves for Christian pacifism.
They are Quakers, and Mennonite.
Some leaders of our denomination are also seeking to make PCUSA a peace church at this time.
Now, let’s imagine that there is a nation that decides to follow Jesus in his this way of peace.
What would this nation look like?
How can a nation stand believing “All who take the sword perish by the sword”?
Can you imagine a nation without weaponry?
Can you imagine our policemen or policewomen don’t have any kind of weapon? (In fact, UK does that.)
Can a nation exist like that?
If there is a nation like this, what kind of things would happen?
Let’s say that a nation declare her intention to be a nation of peace.
Then they abandon all military plans.
Then in order to follow the way of peace, they use money for peace.
They give money to help other nations, since Jesus said Matthew 25:31–46, helping the poor and prisoners and so on is important.
They use money to educate other nations to live peacefully.
They try to have a peaceful relationship with their neighbors.
This nation can only exist, if their people want to live like this risking their lives.
Will there is a nation that is courageous enough to try this way of life?
Will other nations recognize their effort and follow?
Let’s say, there is a president who want to run a nation like that.
Can he or she survive?
Can he or she be even elected?
Will a nation follow his or her leading?
What do you think?
Can this kind of nation exist?
We can be very violent people.
There is violence in us.
All those who pray for their enemies may understand how violent we are.
All those who try to forgive someone may understand this.
We are so violent that we need the Savior who gives his body and blood so that we may be so moved enough to follow his way of life.
We need to have God in us to live for God and others.
So, Jesus gives us the Holy Spirit, knowing that if we are filled with the Holy Spirit, we may be able to live his way of peace.
If we can be one with Jesus in prayer, we may live what Jesus is talking about here.
If we are empowered by the Spirit of Jesus, we may be.
Jesus, our Savior, help us to follow you.
Give us your Holy Spirit so that we may follow you in your way of peace.
In your name, we pray. Amen.