Was Jesus a pacifist?

A great many people seem to assume that Jesus’ teachings included pacifism. Is this true?

Jesus discouraged the use of unnecessary force (cf. Matt. 5:9, 26:52) but acknowledged that legitimate force was, at times, necessary (cf. cf. Luke 14:31, 22:36). Indeed, as Jesus is God and God inspired both the Old and New Testaments, the Old Testament prescriptions for war (cf. Eccles. 3:1-3) reflect Jesus’ position on the matter of war.

In short, Jesus encouraged his followers to pursue peace and warned them of the evils of war, but he did not teach that war was never permissible.

**Recommended reading:

Just War Doctrine**

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