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What did Jesus say about Killing

What did Jesus say about Killing

Jesus’s teachings about killing, particularly in the context of the commandments and His broader moral teachings, emphasize a radical adherence to nonviolence and love. While the Bible records numerous instances where Jesus addresses violence, killing, and the sanctity of life, three significant passages stand out in the New Testament that encapsulate His stance:

  1. Matthew 5:21-22 – Here, Jesus extends the commandment “You shall not murder” to include anger against one’s brother, equating unjust anger with the act of murder in God’s eyes. This teaching is part of the Sermon on the Mount, where Jesus deepens the understanding of the law, emphasizing the heart’s condition over mere outward compliance.
  2. Matthew 26:52 – During His arrest in the Garden of Gethsemane, when Peter draws his sword and strikes the servant of the high priest, Jesus rebukes him, saying, “Put your sword back into its place. For all who take the sword will perish by the sword.” This moment underscores Jesus’s commitment to nonviolence and His admonition against using physical force for defense or in response to injustice.
  3. Luke 6:27-36 – Jesus commands His followers to love their enemies, do good to those who hate them, and pray for those who mistreat them. By advocating for love and blessing toward one’s adversaries, Jesus sets a profound standard for His followers, moving beyond the avoidance of physical violence to the cultivation of a heart posture that seeks the well-being of others, even those who wish harm.

Three Main Takeaways:

  1. The Heart Matters: Jesus’s teachings emphasize that adherence to God’s commandments extends beyond physical actions to the intentions and attitudes of the heart. Anger and hatred are seen as roots of violence that violate the command to not kill.
  2. Nonviolence and Peace: Jesus models and teaches a radical form of nonviolence, instructing His followers to abstain from retaliation and physical defense against aggression, pointing to a kingdom that operates on principles of peace and reconciliation.
  3. Love as the Ultimate Law: The command to love one’s enemies radicalizes the understanding of God’s law. Jesus positions love as the guiding principle for relationships, including those with adversaries, indicating that love fulfills the law by seeking the good and salvation of all, even at personal cost.


  • Greg Gaines

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