By: Linnea Nilsen Capshaw

The security strategy of Jesus clearly involved a radical break from that of Rome and the various parties in his own nation, whether the violent Zealots, the accommodating Sadducees and Herodians, the blaming Pharisees, or the withdrawing and isolating Essenes. Rather than an aggressive and offensive empire, or a submissive or passive nation, or a fragmented and isolated subculture, Jesus envisioned a people actively dedicated to peacemaking – walking the second mile, turning the other cheek, giving freely to the enemy as well as the friend. This peacemaking work was not an expression of defeat or weakness at all, but rather, it required a courageous and confident commitment to transcend violence. Still today, Jesus’ teaching challenges us to reject the deceptive, addictive emotions that forcefully drive us to war, and calls us to find new meaning in love, neighborliness, reconciliation, and the work of building vibrant reconciled communities.

How do you teach your faith community about Jesus’ message of peacemaking?
Do your small groups help people overcome addictions to war, security, individualism?
In what ways do you help people live reconciled lives and grow to love all God’s people on earth?

For personal one-on-one coaching, click here.