This post is not meant as a standalone, but as part of a series on Jesus’ Teaching in Buddhist Terminology.
Jesus was filled with wisdom on how to walk this earth without doing harm. He lived and taught creative nonviolence and nonjudging. His message was not simply to love our friends, but our enemies. We are to love and show kindness to ALL of creation.
It’s easy to see why Jesus inspired our greatest transformational leaders to bring about non-violent change, most recently in the non-violent overthrow of the Philippine Marcos dictatorship. Martin Luther King, Jr., springs to mind, of course, but did you know that the only picture which was in Gandhi’s quarters at the time of his death was of Jesus and Mary? Gandhi, a Hindu, carried Jesus’ Sermon on the Mount with him all his life.
In Jesus’ day, the oppressed Jewish people had been expecting a warrior Messiah, a savior in the tradition of Daniel, someone who would lead an uprising army against the tyrannical rulers who oppressed them. What they got was something entirely different. They got Jesus’ message of loving-kindness, peace, non-harming, non-judging, and good news to the poor. So serious, so clear, was Jesus about his message of nonviolence that he wouldn’t allow his disciples to raise their hands in his defense, when he was arrested. Jesus was very clear even until his last word to his disciples before his arrest: ‘Put down your sword.’ Peace activist John Dear used those words as the title of one of his many books on peace and nonviolence. The powers that be tried, accused, sentenced and executed him, and he willingly and nonviolently went to his death, loving and forgiving even to his last moments on earth.