Yesterday, via Twitter, I asked newly minted Colorado Representative Lauren Boebert (R) a couple of questions.
I felt it was fair in light of the Tweet she had put out that as a Christian, she could be brought to her knees and wouldn’t let anyone interfere with her right to be “strapped” when and wherever she feels like it. (At least, that was the way I read her meaning.)
My questions were: What weapons did Jesus carry as he went about his Father’s mission as outlined in the Gospels? What weapons did he send with the Apostles into the broader world to spread the Good News of his death and resurrection?
Of course, I have had no response.
But I do not need one, because I already know the answers.
Jesus carried no weapon with him as he and the twelve disciples went throughout the countryside on their three-year quest, not even when they went into the lands of the Samaritans, who were not friends to the Jews.
Yet simply by asking a lone woman if she would give him a drink from the well where she had come to draw water for her household, he not only brought a conversion moment in her life, but for many of her neighbors as well.
For you see, Jesus didn’t just move on from Samaritain territory as quickly as he could after this.
He stayed for several days and taught the many people the woman brought to him with her words of “Come see a man who told me everything I have done. Could he possibly be the Messiah?” (John 4:29)
As Jesus prayed until he sweat blood in Gesthemane, his betrayer, Judas, brought armed men with him to capture Jesus to turn him over for trial.
Three disciples accompanied Jesus to Gesthemane: Peter, James and John.
As Judas gave Jesus his kiss of betrayal to identify Christ to his captors, Matthew 26:51 says “And behold, one of those who accompanied Jesus put his hand to his sword, drew it, and struck the high priest’s servant, cutting off his ear.”
(It is generally portrayed in movies as Peter who did this, although neither the Gospels of Matthew or Mark make this attribution.)
Did Jesus pull out his own sword to defend himself too?
Those who believe in the complete sanctity of their 2nd Amendment rights should surely think him justified, being wrongly accused and about to be taken into custody by armed men for an unfair government trial.
No, he said: “Put your sword back into its sheath, for all who take the sword will perish by the sword.” Matthew 26:52
Jesus – who had just suffered his terrible Agony in the Garden; was failed by his three disciples who did not stay awake to watch and pray with him; was betrayed with a kiss from another and about to be captured by armed men – did not pull out a sword in self-defense.
He admonished his own followers, telling them: “Do you think that I cannot call upon my Father and he will not provide me at this moment with more than twelve legions of angels?” Matthew 26:53
No – the man who could summon legions of angels to defend him – went peacefully with his captors, all the Way of the Cross to his Crucifixion.
And after Jesus was Crucified, arose from the dead and encountered his disciples in hiding, did he tell them NOW was the time to take up arms, incite others to do the same and overthrow the oppression of Roman rule, as was the expectation of every faithful Jew of the Messiah?
No. According to John 20:19, as the disciples gathered in fear behind locked doors, “Jesus came and stood in their midst and said to them, ‘Peace be with you.’”
Not “Hurry, take up your arms, defend me in my death, which was unfair to me.” He gave them a blessing that called for peace to reign.
He then commissioned them to go out into the world and live as he had lived – peacefully and unarmed, spreading the Good News of his life, death and resurrection.
I don’t know the history of how gun rights and Christianity have come to be so intertwined within today’s Republican party that it has created a twisted vision of what it means to be a Christian.
(Well, I do, but my answer would be simplistic: the corruption of money in politics by the gun lobby and the cynicism and greed of some pastors – Protestant and Catholic – who pretend to speak in the name of Jesus.)
I hope as a Christian who focuses much of her attention in the Bible to Jesus’s own words and actions, I do know the answer as to whether or not Jesus would arm himself, incite others, and somehow assist or participate in an insurrection based on an evil lie that the 2020 election was “fraudulent.”
A lie put out by a President who swore to uphold Constitutional order and despite state Republicans and Democrats alike certifying the electoral results of their individual states, and that some states are said to “swing” for a lot of identifiable reasons besides the broad cry of “fraud.”
The simple answer is: he wouldn’t.