#whitefeather diaries

Pacifists and Jesus

Monday 9 November 2015

The Bible, and particularly the teachings of Jesus, were a constant source of encouragement to Quakers and other religious pacifists. Today we saw Bert quoting Jesus's words of encouragement to his followers, as they appear in Matthew's Gospel.

This is the passage from which Bert quoted (Matthew 10:16–31) in a modern English translation (the New Revised Standard Version). It consists of advice and encouragement given by Jesus to his followers as they prepared for persecution and hostility.

See, I am sending you out like sheep into the midst of wolves; so be wise as serpents and innocent as doves. Beware of them, for they will hand you over to councils and flog you in their synagogues; and you will be dragged before governors and kings because of me, as a testimony to them and the Gentiles.

When they hand you over, do not worry about how you are to speak or what you are to say; for what you are to say will be given to you at that time; for it is not you who speak, but the Spirit of your Father speaking through you.

Brother will betray brother to death, and a father his child, and children will rise against parents and have them put to death; and you will be hated by all because of my name. But the one who endures to the end will be saved.

When they persecute you in one town, flee to the next; for truly I tell you, you will not have gone through all the towns of Israel before the Son of Man comes.

A disciple is not above the teacher, nor a slave above the master; it is enough for the disciple to be like the teacher, and the slave like the master. If they have called the master of the house Beelzebub, how much more will they malign those of his household!

So have no fear of them; for nothing is covered up that will not be uncovered, and nothing secret that will not become known. What I say to you in the dark, tell in the light; and what you hear whispered, proclaim from the housetops.

Do not fear those who kill the body but cannot kill the soul; rather fear him who can destroy both soul and body in hell. Are not two sparrows sold for a penny? Yet not one of them will fall to the ground unperceived by your Father. And even the hairs of your head are all counted. So do not be afraid; you are of more value than many sparrows.

Source: Matthew 10:16–31 in The Bible: New Revised Standard Version (Cambridge University Press, 1993)

Related Materials

Pamphlet challenging national service
Monday 9 November 2015

Bert seems to have preached less often as he became more involved in campaigning against the war. He described how he came to know Quakers through the anti-conscription campaign.