1.24.2011

Matthew 26:52 (2)

Peaceful Nation
Reading: Matthew 26:52

Do you like history books?
There are some history books that are written for endorsing legitimacy of their nationalism. If you read between the lines, you can see that these books encourage people to be patriotic, risking their life for the safety of a nation. Often these books are written to endorse their national superiority. Many heroes in these books are those who fought for their nation. So, it is unavoidable that some nationalism tends to endorse violence in the name of protecting the existence of their nation.

At the same time, some movies seem to say to our children that killing can be ok or something honorable when it has a good reason or a good cause. But in reality, there is no honor during the time of violence or war. When any form of violence is done against any human being, all honor and dignity disappear. There is no honor when we devalue the life of our “enemy” or friends of our enemy. The truth is that if our life is precious, our enemy’s life is precious, too. If my nation is precious, their nation is precious, too.

The church needs to pray for the nation. We should try to make our nation prosperous. But I think the church should not endorse any form of nationalism. Rather, the church should encourage each nation to be a holy nation.

The church should pray for peace. The church should pray that there may be less bloodshed and less injustice during the time of war. Maybe that is when we need to be repentant of our violent tendency.

But what happen when we face what looks like unavoidable situation? What happen when we face a situation where we just, have to use violence? I think then we need to ask for forgiveness, recognizing our limit.

Because at that moment we weren’t able to follow Jesus, the Crucified One who refused to use any violence, but we were following the Crucifying One (Roman Government in this case) that executed Jesus.

Jesus says, “Put your sword back in its place, for all who draw the sword will die by the sword.”

North Korea is building their nuclear weapon, not caring about their starving population. USA is spending a lot of money making new weapons, not caring about their debts, which will make their next generation work harder. US military spending in 2009 climbed up to 712 billion. This is about 47% of the world’s military spending in 2009. In this situation, USA is challenging North Korea to stop their effort of making nuclear weapon. I guess Jesus would say, “First take the plank out of your own eye, and then you will see clearly to remove the speck from your brother's eye.” (Matthew 7:5) Meaning, “First reduce your military spending and then you will see clearly to remove nuclear weapon of North Korea.”

Again, Jesus taught nonviolence, saying something like this:
“Those who use any form of violence will be destroyed by that form of violence.” (Matthew 26:52)

In Matthew 5: 21-22, Jesus says:
You have heard that it was said to the people long ago, ‘You shall not murder, and anyone who murders will be subject to judgment.’ But I tell you that anyone who is angry with a brother or sister will be subject to judgment. Again, anyone who says to a brother or sister, ‘Raca,’ is answerable to the court. And anyone who says, ‘You fool!’ will be in danger of the fire of hell.
Even violent words were problematic with Jesus.

According to Jesus, any form of violence when it is only a thought is problematic.

So, the church needs to pray that the world may continually decrease their military spending and use their money wisely for the wellness of our world. I think the less we spend money on weapons, the more we will remove unnecessary fear that is in the world today.

Even in our prayer, even in our life, we don’t want to be violent.
May we be able to seek peace.
May we be able to share the gospel of Jesus Christ in peace.