Two Part Question: Part 2 - Is Matthew 5:38-40 contradicted in light of Jesus Statements in Luke 22: 35-38?

(scott beau jordan) #1

Ok so we all know the reference from Matthew:
38 “You have heard that it was said, ‘An eye for an eye, and a tooth for a tooth.’39 But I say to you, do not resist an evil person; but whoever slaps you on your right cheek, turn the other to him also. 40 If anyone wants to sue you and take your coat also.

Luke 22:
35 And He said to them, “When I sent you out without money belt and bag and sandals, you did not lack anything, did you?” They said, “ *No *, nothing.” 36 And He said to them, “But now, whoever has a money belt is to take it along, likewise also a bag, and whoever has no sword is to sell his coat and buy one. 37 For I tell you that this which is written must be fulfilled in Me, ‘And He was numbered with transgressors’; for that which refers to Me has its fulfilment.” 38 They said, “Lord, look, here are two swords.” And He said to them, “It is enough.”

Question: Now, why is Jesus telling the disciples to buy a sword if in Matthew 5 he told them to turn the other cheek?

Now in John 18: 10-11 it says
10 Simon Peter then, having a sword, drew it and struck the high priest’s slave, and cut off his right ear; and the slave’s name was Malchus. 11 So Jesus said to Peter, “Put the sword into the sheath; the cup which the Father has given Me, shall I not drink it?..

Luke 22:51: 51 But Jesus answered and said, Stop! No more of this.” And He touched his ear and healed him.

Maybe the same conversation from different viewpoints.

Question 2: Jesus just told Peter back in verse 36 to go an buy a sword. Then in verse 51 he tells Peter to “Stop!” and heals the man Peter injures.

I don’t understand why Jesus seems to contradict Himself twice…
In the first place, why would he advocate for buying a weapon AND give the order concerning turning the other cheek?

In the second place, why again would he rebuke Peter for using the weapon He told Peter to take up when Peter uses it 15 verses later?

Please Explain?

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(Robert Anderson) #2

I think one thing to note here is that the disciples throughout the gospels never really seemed to understand what Jesus was trying to explain or what he came to do. To them, him being the Messiah meant a revolution and him restoring the kingdom of Israel. So they frequently interpreted Jesus’ parables and instructions through this lens, which to us makes them frequently look kind of foolish. But we have the whole picture now and can see what Jesus was really trying to do. I think this is what is happening here. Jesus is explaining to them that he is going to be gone soon and won’t be able to provide for them so they should make provisions for themselves. But through their lens, the disciples hear the word “sword” and think this means “get ready to fight”. This disconnect would explain why Jesus responded the way he did when they eagerly picked up the two swords.

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(Jimmy Sellers) #3

I had to hunt around for something that would make some sense as this verse has been discussed before on the forum and is a great resource.

The author of this commentary/dictionary that I used cites Luke 22:49–51 as a proof that Jesus was not contradicting himself.

Jesus’ words to his disciples to “buy swords” (22:35–38) has been variously judged as ironic, symbolic and unhistorical. Given the time designations marking Jesus’ passion as the turning point (“then … but now”), however, it probably signifies the hostility with which Jesus’ disciples will be confronted (cf. Mt 10:34–36/Lk 12:51–53; cf. Lampe). On any reading it is clear from 22:49–51 that Jesus did not endorse his disciples’ use of their swords. Armed conflict—so to speak—is permitted only with demonic enemies (11:21–22). Only in relation to Satan’s kingdom does Jesus come as a divine warrior, leading his followers into battle (10:17–19; cf. Rom 16:20).

Geddert, T. J. (1992). Peace. In J. B. Green & S. McKnight (Eds.), Dictionary of Jesus and the Gospels (p. 605). Downers Grove, IL: InterVarsity Press.

I think it is interesting to note that the only time Jesus is in full on warrior mode, which include armor, sword and horse is when he is overcoming the rulers of this world.

11 And I saw heaven opened, and behold, a white horse, and the one seated on it was called “Faithful” and “True,” and with justice he judges and makes war. 12 Now his eyes were a flame of fire, and on his head were many royal headbands having a name written that no one except he himself knows. 13 And he was dressed in an outer garment dipped in blood, and his name is called the Word of God. 14 And the armies that are in heaven, dressed in clean, white fine linen, were following him on white horses. 15 And out of his mouth came a sharp sword, so that with it he could strike the nations. And he will shepherd them with an iron rod, and he stomps the winepress of the wine of the furious wrath of God, the All-Powerful. 16 And he has a name written on his outer garment and on his thigh: “King of kings and Lord of lords.” (Re 19:11–16)

As I said in part one there is are folks that believe that Jesus was indeed announcing the Kingdom of God as the good news. If this is correct then the great cosmic battle was begun when he send out the 70 with swords to battle the demonic powers.

My thoughts.

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