JESUS AND GUNS PART 2
POSTED BY ANN BARNHARDT - APRIL 17, AD 2011 9:48 PM MST
“And they that were about Him, seeing what would follow, said to Him: Lord, shall we strike with the sword? And one of them struck the servant of the high priest and cut off his right ear.”
So just to make certain that we are all appreciating this, Peter, the prince of the apostles, is carrying a side arm and knows what to do with it. Now this next verse is the one that really surprised me:
"But Jesus answering, said: Suffer ye thus far. And when He had touched his ear, He healed him."
Huh? What does “Suffer ye thus far” mean? Hmmm. Let’s look at some contemporary translations and see what they say:
“Stop! No more of this.” (New American Standard)
“Let them be. Even in this.” (The Message)
“No more of this!” (Holman Christian Standard)
Uh-oh. This is not good. These modern translations aren’t anywhere close to the Douay-Rheims. The words “stop” and “no” were obviously part of the English lexicon when the Douay-Rheims was made, and they are not used in this verse. Something is wrong here. In order to figure this out, let’s go to the Latin. “Sinite usque huc.”
Sinite: second person plural active imperative of “sino” Sino: let, permit
Okay, so sinite means “you all let” or “you all permit” in the imperative case, which means a command. (That makes sense! Like “suffer the little children to come unto Me” means “permit the little children . . . “)
Usque: adverb meaning “all the way”
Huc: adverb meaning here, hence, to this place, to this point
You all permit + all the way + here.
Jesus isn’t scolding them. Jesus isn’t saying “no more of this” and barking at them to stop. Jesus is giving them the command to hold and stand down. “You all permit all the way here.” This is a HUGE distinction. If a military commander gives his men the order to hold fire and stand down, is he criticizing them? Is he attacking and rebuking their use of weaponry? Is he communicating that they should be pacifists? Is he rejecting their vocations as soldiers? No. He is simply telling them to hold their fire and stand down because there is, at the moment, a tactical reason to do so. That is EXACTLY what is going on here. Jesus isn’t rebuking the apostles because they are doing exactly what they should do – they are defending their Beloved Friend. If your spouse, or your child, or your best friend, or whoever you love most in this world was being physically attacked and seized, what would you do? What would every fiber of your being be screaming out for you to do? Come to their defense and aid. This is called the Natural Law. God MADE us this way. God made us with the instinctual drive to physically fight to defend those we love. Failure to do so is the sin of cowardice. Cowardice is a violation of both of the Great Commandments: to love God above all else, and to love our neighbor as we love ourselves. Cowardice places the self above both neighbor and God. And in the case of the apostles, they were engaging both commandments directly in the person of Jesus.
This is why Jesus had to give the order to hold and stand down. He had to specifically release them from the Great Commandments in that moment. Why? Two reasons: Obviously, it was the will of the Trinity that Jesus be arrested and crucified. These things had to happen. The apostles couldn’t be expected to understand this at the time, so there was no expectation for them to quietly sit and watch as Jesus was arrested.
Remember who Jesus is. Jesus is God. He knows everything and everyone. Jesus knew every one of the men who came to arrest Him. Not only did He know them, He loved them all infinitely. He MADE every one of them. He wove them together in their mothers’ wombs. He knew every detail of their lives, every thought, every deed. And He loved them. Every single one of them. He also had a plan for every one of them. Like, oh I dunno, CONVERSION? Can you imagine the amount of grace those guards were exposed to? They got to TOUCH Him. They got to look right at Him, and speak to Him. He probably locked eyes with every one of them at some point. Don’t discount that. Even though they were absolutely horrible to Him, they were primed for conversion. We know that Malchus, the guy who got his ear cut off, and then was healed by Jesus, converted. We don’t know about the other guards, but we do know that thousands and thousands of Jews were converted in the first years after the Resurrection. We also know who the first Gentile convert was. It was the Roman Centurion Longinus. Longinus was the Roman soldier who drove the spear into Jesus’ side to make certain He was dead, instead of breaking His legs. When the spear went in, it bursted the cardiac edema, or the water that had built up around Jesus’ Sacred Heart as He died of heart failure. Longinus, standing beside and below Jesus, was sprayed with that water. Baptism. When the water had all come out, Jesus’ Precious Blood sprayed out. Eucharist. The first Gentile convert was a man who had just spent the past nine hours participating in the torture and execution of Jesus. Grace. I wouldn’t be surprised to learn that some of the Jewish guards in the garden were converted too. So we can see an additional reason, beyond the obvious, why Jesus told the apostles to stand down. It was His will that some or all of the guards survive and convert, not die in battle in that moment.
Finally, some might reference Jesus’ words in Matthew’s gospel:
"Then Jesus saith to him: Put up again thy sword into its place: for all that take the sword shall perish with the sword."
Do you know what I think Jesus is doing here? I think this may be a veiled prophecy about islam. Islam teaches that the way to convert people is to put a sword to their neck and give them a choice: convert or die. This is referred to as “the Sword of islam”. This is how all other evil, satanic systems operate as well. Marxism leaps to mind. In Marxist tyranny, people are arrested and imprisoned, given the choice to “learn the new system” or die. In addition to a veiled prophecy, Jesus is telling Peter that Christianity does not and will not convert with the sword. It converts only with love. AND, He is telling Peter and us that Christians do not and will not punish apostates (people who leave the faith - like Judas) with the sword. Both islam and Marxism execute apostates. But the second phrase, “shall perish with the sword” is very telling. Jesus is saying that those who “take the sword” and try to convert people to, and hold people in their evil systems by force will in the end be killed WITH THE SWORD. Who will be wielding that sword? Christ will be victorious, so doesn’t it stand to reason that the Army of Christ will be the one wielding the sword in the second phrase? Boy, this sure sounds like a ratification of self-defense and just war, doesn’t it?
So there you go. Like I said, I’m no authority. I’m just a chick with a Douay-Rheims/Vulgate Bible and a Latin dictionary. I hope you find this interesting, and I hope it spurs thought and discussion. I also hope it drives home the point that the translation of the Bible that we use is utterly critical. It isn't a mere "detail". It is the difference between the Truth and a lie. I think my exegesis is rooted in Scripture, logic and love. I don’t think I’m simply fabricating things that aren’t there in order to support my own personal philosophical leanings - but then, I'm not a "theologian". I guess we’ll all find out - someday.
READ PART 1