The Way Of The Cross

Luke 23:32-39, Matthew 5:38-48

What powerful lessons did Jesus leave us from his experience of the crucifixion?  One very powerful lesson was that right in the middle of the offense he forgave them.  It shows us that peace is the will of God.  It shows us the nature of God and how much he loves us.

This leads us to take a closer look at the whole issue of Peace, Justice, and Nonresistance.

Scriptures to consider:

  • Luke 3:14 - Jesus' response to soldiers question "and what shall we do?"

  • John 18:36 - Jesus' kingdom is not of this world that is why his servants did not fight.

  • Romans 13:4 - Authorities are God's servants.  If they do their job you need not fear.

Some background to our present day setting:

  • For approximately the first 300 years the early church took a pacifist position.
    It was a non-military participation.

  • About 313 Emperor Constantine changed things.  Because of a personal experience he decided to legalize Christianity.  This was the beginning of the intersection of church and state.

  • What soon followed and developed over time was a "Christian" version of the Just War Theory.

  • Today we still live in a society where there is a continuing intersection between church and state and the presence of a Just War Theory.

Something to think about:  What if Jesus really meant what he said.


Lancaster Conference Mennonite Churches use the 1995 Mennonite Confession of Faith.
Read Article 22 on Peace, Justice, and Nonresistance


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