• Steve Derenge

The New Breed of Samurai

Updated: Apr 28, 2019

Jesus was a samurai. Yes, he was a first century Jewish rabbi in the Middle East, but there are important, notable parallels. (1)

He had disciples.

“And he appointed twelve (whom he also named apostles) so that they might be with him and he might send them out to preach and have authority to cast out demons.” --Mark 3:14‭-‬15 ESV

Jesus’ disciples were given authority to heal the sick, cast out demons, and invite people into a relationship with God. Since Jesus Christ is the same today as He was then, Jesus’ followers carry that same authority and the power by God's Holy Spirit living inside them. By the unmerited favor of God, I know not just theoretically, but by experience that such power and authority to do the miraculous works Jesus did and greater is available to those who submit their allegiance to him and act like his words are true. (2)

He was a warrior.

Jesus understood all the gods of the spiritual realm and exercised authority over them all. That is, he casted out demons, cooperated with the angelic realm, and continually lived in ongoing relational communication with God (His Father).

1. God is a Warrior who made us in His image to know Him personally. (3) 2. We are vulnerable to the attacks of evil spirits and forces because of our sin (spiritual separation from God and His protection). (4) 3. Jesus Christ is a Warrior who came to defeat Satan and all his evil spirits. Through Him alone we can be free from the power of sin and demonic oppression. (5) 4. We must individually receive Jesus Christ as Savior (Deliverer) and Lord (Master who will train us for war against evil as we obey His instructions). Then we can fulfill God's wonderful plan for our lives—a love relationship with Him that includes loving and setting other people free by the power of His Holy Spirit upon us. (6)

He was self-controlled and maintained the highest order of self-discipline.

On the one hand, he was the life of the party. He welcomed social outcasts into a new family of God. He was accused of being “a glutton and a drunkard, a friend of tax collectors and sinners.” (7) However, he never really was drunk on wine or overindulged in food, because he never sinned (rebelled against any of God's commands and rules of etiquette). He was merely accused of being “guilty by association” by the critical religious leaders.

To the contrary, he was incredibly self-disciplined and lived a life of self-denial. For example, he fasted for 40 days in the wilderness as he was tempted by the world's foremost evil spirit, Satan (悪魔), but he never yielded to the temptation (or sinned).

“And calling the crowd to him with his disciples, he said to them, ‘If anyone would come after me, let him deny himself and take up his cross and follow me.  For whoever would save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for my sake and the gospel's will save it. For what does it profit a man to gain the whole world and forfeit his soul?  For what can a man give in return for his soul? For whoever is ashamed of me and of my words in this adulterous and sinful generation, of him will the Son of Man also be ashamed when he comes in the glory of his Father with the holy angels.’" --Mark 8:34‭-‬38 ESV

“Truly, truly, I say to you, unless a grain of wheat falls into the earth and dies, it remains alone; but if it dies, it bears much fruit.  Whoever loves his life loses it, and whoever hates his life in this world will keep it for eternal life. If anyone serves me, he must follow me; and where I am, there will my servant be also. If anyone serves me, the Father will honor him.” --John 12:24‭-‬26 ESV

He voluntarily died to preserve God’s honor—the ultimate “seppuku.”

He took all the world's shame upon himself when he died a shameful death so that we might receive the very honor (glory and reputation) of God Himself. Jesus said,

“For this reason the Father loves me, because I lay down my life that I may take it up again.  No one takes it from me, but I lay it down of my own accord. I have authority to lay it down, and I have authority to take it up again. This charge I have received from my Father.’" --John 10:17‭-‬18 ESV

Jesus always perfectly honored the Father's authority over him, subjecting himself to a voluntary, excruciating death so that the Father would be honored and not lose face. How does Jesus' death on the cross save God's face and restore His reputation?

The Father's foremost desire is that we can have a relationship with Him. However, our rebellion against Him means that He would lose face should we be openly rebellious and yet live under His roof as part of His honored family. Our shame, rebellion, and bad reputation must be removed in order for God's desire for relationship with us to be met. The only solution in the universe was for Jesus to be punished in our place for our rebellion, and to be shamed in our place in order to restore our spiritual reputation. Thereby Jesus removes our guilt and shame before God, who is the perfect Judge with a flawless reputation.

Do you want to be part of the army of samurai warriors that is rising up at this pivotal time in history?

If you tell God a prayer such as the following from a raw, honest heart, then you're spiritually enlisted! Much more, He adopts you as a member of His honored family:

Heavenly Father,

I want to know You personally and to know the purpose for which You created me. I admit that I have rebelled against You and dishonored You, so I don’t deserve to be a part of Your family. But I thank You that You wanted a relationship with me and made a way for my shame before You to be removed. Thank You for sending Jesus Christ as a warrior to defeat the evil spirits who want to keep me from a relationship with You. Thank You that Your perfect love casts out fear (demons), and that You want to pour out Your perfect love on me. I believe and thank You that Jesus died on the cross and rose from the dead in order to forgive my sin (rebellion) and remove my shame (bad reputation before You), so that I can have that same kind of relationship with You that Jesus did. Jesus, I submit my allegiance to You. Thank You for rescuing me from the kingdom of darkness (evil spirits) and for bringing me into Your kingdom as a member of Your honored family. As I commit to obeying and honoring You and Your words with my whole life, make me into the kind of samurai You want me to be.

In Jesus’ name,

Amen (8)

  1. One could say that he was also a “Muslim” when using a literally-defined sense of the word that he was “one who submits himself to God's will.”

  2. See Hebrews 13:8; John 14:12; Matthew 10:1,8,24f; etc.

  3. See Exodus 15:3‭, ‬6‭-‬7‭, ‬11; Genesis 1:27-28

  4. See Isaiah 59:1-2; Psalm 41; 1 John 5:18ff; Genesis 3-4

  5. See 1 John 3:8; Acts 10:38

  6. See Romans 10:9; Matthew 28:18-20; Acts 1:8.

  7. C.f. Matthew 11:19. See my blogpost “Satan Wants to Take Away Your Fun” for more information.

  8. See Romans 3:23, 1 John 4:14-18; Colossians 2:12-15; 1:13-14; Romans 5:1-11; Ephesians 2.

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