Lately I’ve noticed many cars bearing the bumper sticker “Who would Jesus bomb?” I assume it’s a slap at those Christians who support the Iraq war and yet wear their “What would Jesus do?” bracelets (though that fad has mostly run its course).
I share these protesters’ suspicion of overseas interventionism by our federal government. What I cannot share is their view of Jesus.
According to the fiction that enlivens this bumper sticker, Jesus isn’t an all-powerful king who will execute judgment (Psalm 2, Hebrews 1, etc.), but a peace-loving hippie with long hair and sandals. I’ve been reading straight through the Old Testament, and the the sheer amount of time Scripture warns of judgment (interspersed of course with promises for the remnant, the covenant sons of David whom God has sworn to uphold) is astounding. I’ve not done the math, but threats and promises of woe must make up 80% of what the prophets said. There are multitudes of explicit threats to strip the wrongdoers bare, to slaughter young and old, men and women without pity (Lam 2:21), to break old and young in pieces (Jer 51:22), and on and on and on it goes.
Jesus’s entire ministry was confrontational. He fed the 5000, then went across the Galilee and confounded a large crowd of people who were expecting bread, not calls to eat His flesh and drink His blood (John 6). He warned often about Hell. His parables weren’t Grimm’s Fairy Tales either. In the Revelation, as in the Psalms, we see the Conquering King who will war with the sword of His mouth (Rev 2:16) and rule with a rod of iron (Rev 2:27).