Jesus and the Military

The Precious Scripture Jesus and Military Veterans Share


Because I am a veteran, some may think my title is a little presumptuous. However, I believe there is a Scripture that applies precisely to Jesus and veterans.

The apostle John being led by the Holy Spirit, wrote John 15:13 NLT “There is no greater love than to lay down one’s life for one’s friends.” This passage tells us that when Jesus went into ministry, He was willing to sacrifice His life for the benefit of others. When our American veterans sign up to serve their country, they are willing to go wherever they are sent by giving an oath to protect our country with their life.

This is the oath all military personnel make when they enlist to serve their country. “I do solemnly affirm that I will support and defend the Constitution of the United States against all enemies, foreign and domestic, that I will bear true faith and allegiance to the same, and that I will obey the orders of the President of the United States and the orders of the officers appointed over me.”

That oath reminds me of the words written by the apostle Paul in the book of Philippians 2:3-4 (NIV): “Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit. Rather, in humility value others above yourselves, not looking to your own interests, but each of you to the interest of others.”

This oath proves the military must serve others. Jesus came to earth to serve.

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Now, I am not so foolish to try and compare Jesus and veterans. Jesus lived a perfect life and never sinned. American veterans are men and women who are not perfect and have sinned like all of us. But they share a quality of Jesus and that is to love others.

Our veterans have been called to protect Americans’ borders and the borders of other nations from bondage. Jesus ministered and helped others to be set free from the bondage of sin. Jesus promised his followers that they could live life more abundantly. He gave his life so others could live free. American veterans went into battle around the world to bring freedom.

From the American Revolution in 1775 to Afghanistan over 41 million men and women have served their country in the military. They gave up careers, businesses, education, family and friends to serve our country. The Veterans Administration estimates that 4.9 million of all living veterans have some type of illness or injury connected to their service.

Excluding the Civil War, nearly 650,000 American troops have died in combat. Over 30% of our veterans report chronic health conditions. Sadly, an average of 20 American veterans commit suicide every day.

Today, we salute our veterans and the sacrifices of their families. When I see a veteran, I thank them for their service. We need to reach out to them and show our love by contacting our local and national politicians to increase veterans’ benefits.

Although there have been improvements in the Veterans Administration, there is still more we must do. Christians need to reach out to our veterans. Consider starting a veteran’s ministry in your city. I’m praying for a revival to break out in America’s veterans.

Just like we teach children about how much Jesus loves us, we must tell our children about how American veterans have served to keep us free. {eoa}

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David C. Friend served in the Army in Vietnam. After his service, he graduated from Phoenix College and studied finance at Western Bancorp. David taught banking at community colleges in Arizona and was a vice president with a real estate development company. He owned and operated Dave Friend Homes. In 1997 he went into full-time ministry, was ordained in 1998 and started a new church, North Scottsdale Christian. David serves as a board member with Dream City Church. He mentors businessmen and couples and speaks on finance, prayer and veterans. Visit David’s website at


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