Following Jesus in a Day of Anger

Michael Beck

“Then said Jesus unto him, Put up again thy sword into his place: for all they that take the sword shall perish with the sword.” (Matthew 26:52)

Jesus did not tap into the anger of His day. There was plenty to be riled about. But Christ would not speak of Himself because He was not seeking His own glory. He was uninterested in diving headfirst into the political issues of the day. Did injustice and oppression abound? Was the Jewish nation under the heel of Roman tyranny? Would many have loved to enlist the popular Nazarene prophet in their cause? Sure. But Jesus would have none of it. Whether they thought so or not, the business He was about was of greater import.

Beware of getting swept up in what seems to be a just cause. Activism is good – but only when the Spirit of God is truly doing the activating. Jesus foresaw the bloodbath that was coming to Jerusalem in 70 A.D. He knew the tenor of the times. Even the most religious cared more for their lives in this world than in pleasing the Father. Jesus said, “My kingdom is not of this world: if my kingdom were of this world, then would my servants fight, that I should not be delivered to the Jews: but now is my kingdom not from hence.” (John 18:36)

Unwise zealotry in the camp of God’s people is starting to sound a call to arms. How directly contradictory to the spirit of Christ and the apostles. Paul called us to put on spiritual weaponry. “For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places.” (Eph. 6:12) We have hot firebrands in the church today who walk more in the spirit of the immature Peter than in the wisdom of the mature apostle who exhorted us to a better preparation: “Forasmuch then as Christ hath suffered for us in the flesh, arm yourselves likewise with the same mind: for he that hath suffered in the flesh hath ceased from sin” (1 Pet. 4:1)

The river of rage is rising, it will flow through many a church. Don’t get caught up in it. Whatever is not of the Spirit of Christ is antichrist – mark or no mark.

Michael Beck is a pastor in the Dallas, TX area and the main author on Signpost. Receive a daily devotional he publishes every morning via email.