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Do Violence to No Man (Luke 3:14)

Introductory Thoughts

When asked about the requirements for baptism, John the Baptist gave several suggestions including, “Do violence to no man.” It can be argued that John was not simply giving baptismal requirements but simply attempting to draw attention to the wickedness of those seeking his baptism. Regardless, we know that John admonished the people to cease from violence. The Bible makes obvious exceptions during times of war or in the exacting of righteous judgment. However, as a rule, God calls the righteous to live peaceably with others and avoid violence (Romans 12:18). Christians are further admonished against finding any pleasure in those who do such things (Romans 1:29, 32).

Devotional Thoughts

  • (For children): Out of jealousy, Saul tried to kill David. When David could have killed Saul, he did not, but tried to make peace (1 Samuel 24:8-12; 16-18; 1 Samuel 26:7-11, 15-21). The Lord is not for violence (Jeremiah 22:3) but for peace (Psalm 34:14; Matthew 5:9).
  • (For everyone): How do you handle conflict? Do you resort to a violent response? Do you lift your hand in violence in order to resolve your problems, or do you know how to use your speech to make peace?
  • What are some times when violence is within the boundaries of righteousness? Why is it so important to learn how to distinguish between these times and the unrighteous acts of violence?

Prayer Thoughts

  • Ask the Lord to help you resolve problems without violence.
  • Ask God to give you a compassion for others.