Times were tough. There was an evil everywhere. Jesus seemed to be able to allude the wrath of the authorities. His opposition to violence might have had something to do with it. Regardless, early one morning, Jesus got word that his cousin and dear friend, John the Baptist, had been arrested. The news infuriated Jesus and all sorts of thoughts ran through his head. Throughout his incarceration, Jesus kept track of John. Day in and day out, Jesus heard of the struggles that John was having. Then, horrible news hit. John was scheduled to be executed. Jesus was the Son of God. He could have called millions of angels to stop it. He could have snapped his fingers to stop it. Hell, he could have simply thought it to stop it. None of it happened. Jesus let John get his head chopped off. As John’s blood flowed on the floor, we have no evidence that Jesus was there in any tangible way to engage the situation. Jesus simply stood aside. Jesus didn’t intervene. Jesus didn’t move. Most modern people would just assume that he was too afraid…they would assume that Jesus was a coward.
I have long struggled with this story. Isn’t Jesus supposed to be in the business of saving lives? Isn’t Jesus supposed to be the banisher of death? Isn’t Jesus supposed to…? The questions are endless. I too have just assumed that Jesus was too afraid. I too have simply assumed that Jesus was afraid…and therefore a coward. These assumptions have never set well with me. There has to be more to the story. There has to be some hidden truths. Jesus has to be in there somewhere.
When shots were fired at Stoneman Douglas High School, School Resource Officer Deputy Scot Peterson did not run toward the shooting…in fact, he basically did nothing. Initially, I found his actions to be incomprehensible. Most people have stopped there. He is a coward and that’s it. In the light of Jesus, I can’t stop there. When violence threatened those Jesus loved, he stayed away from the killing. He did nothing. In the midst of such a violent society, that demands violent (even lethal) responses at every encounter…questions remain. Perhaps the most important being…
What did/would Jesus do?