Jesus: Gandhi or Patton? Part II

Posted on December 4, 2011. Filed under: Culture |

As I wrote in my last post, too many people paint Christ as a dove. Think of all the pictures of Jesus you saw growing up. He was usually a slender white guy dressed in light linens with piercing blue eyes, more often than not with dirty blond hair (how many Palestinian Jews have blond hair and blue eyes?). More often than not, he was telling a parable of some sort to a group of happy children, or being baptized with doves singing all around. If you’re Catholic, he was probably emaciated and dying on a cross. But who would crucify a sickly Mr. Rogers? Is this really what Christ was like? And if we’re called to be like Jesus, does that mean we should be meek and mild?

The Bible doesn’t speak too much to what Christ looked like, but something tells me a carpenter, someone who works with his body everyday, would be lean yes, but not frail and malnourished. The armed guards who came to arrest Jesus drew back and fell to the ground when they realized which man they were to seize (John 18:4-8). Doesn’t sound like someone who was weak and sickly looking. The Bible also says he “wages a righteous war,” that his eyes are like “flames of fire,” his robe is “dipped in blood,” and he will rule with an iron rod (Rev 19:11-16). Simply put, “the Lord is a warrior,” not a pushover (Exodus 15:3).

What about other ‘heroes’ of the Bible? Sampson ripped apart a mountain lion’s jaw and brought the temple of the Philistines down with his bare hands (Judges 14:6, Judges 16:30). David was still a boy when he had already killed mountain lions and bears, trash talked the Philistines, killed, not to mention beheaded their best man, Goliath (1 Sam 17:26-51). Joshua achieved a 31-1 record on the battlefield. Abraham attacked and conquered his enemies in the dead of night when he rescued his nephew Lot (Gen 14:14-16). And it’s not just the men; remember Rahab, one of only 4 women cited in Jesus’s genealogy? She was the one who risked her life by hiding Joshua’s spies in Jericho (Joshua 2:4-21). These aren’t weak, timid, or gentle followers of God. They are strong and assertive. They take pride in their God, provide for their families and their fellow men, even when that means doing so at the edge of a blade (or cracking a few lions’s skulls).

So are we supposed to be blood-thirsty man-eaters? Well what else would you expect from a religion with a zombie god-king? On the contrary, each of these men (and women) received their strength from God and acted in according to His will. In fact, whenever they deviated from God, they did so at their peril and the peril of those around them. When David decided he’d rather let others wage his war, he gave into temptation and slept with another man’s wife, ultimately killing that man and David’s love-child (2 Sam 11). When Joshua lost control of his people, he was defeated in battle (Joshua 7). And of course, there was Adam. Once he lost his spine, we got the fall of man (Gen 3). Only Christ stood his ground and was with God 100% of the time.

Turns out Christ wasn’t a Gandhi or a Patton, he had the best of both. And like Christ, we shouldn’t be afraid to fight the enemy, confront those who persecute us, provide for our families, and spread the word of God. Take comfort that being a Christian doesn’t mean a boring life of playing with baby lambs or keeping any feeling that isn’t joy or happiness to yourself. Being a Christian calls for boldness and strength. It means being a warrior for God.

This blog entry is dedicated to my husband who is a warrior in every sense of the word.


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2 Responses to “Jesus: Gandhi or Patton? Part II”

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Great article. And to think that Christ came in the form of a child illustrates both his humanity and deity. It is hard to get your head around it all which is why it really centers on your heart!

very well said. I like how you tie it in with Him being a carpenter which we all can relate to.
His feet were like burnished bronze, refined in a furnace, and his voice was like the roar of many waters. – Revelation 1:15

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