Why did Jesus say to buy a sword?

(ASH W) #1

He said to them, “But now if you have a purse, take it, and also a bag; and if you don’t have a sword, sell your cloak and buy one.
Luke 22:36 NIV

Was Jesus just making a reference that he would soon be killed and they would be left alone without his protection for a small amount of time? I don’t see why they were asked to buy a sword when they weren’t allowed to use it?

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

@ash Jesus is contrasting His former command to take no money with the reality that soon the disciples must live in a world where He has been ‘numbered with the transgressors’. The mention of swords is likely hyperbole - a shocking statement meant to emphasize the radical nature of what is about to happen to Jesus and how the disciples must prepare themselves.

We see that Jesus was not being literal about swords because when a few disciples say, “Hey, we’ve got some swords”, Jesus replies by saying, ‘That is enough’. The disciples misunderstood Jesus’ point. Jesus did not mean they should literally take up swords - His Kingdom is not of this world.

John 18:36 - Jesus said, “My kingdom is not of this world. If it were, my servants would fight to prevent my arrest by the Jewish leaders. But now my kingdom is from another place.”

Luke 10:2-4 - He told them, “The harvest is plentiful, but the workers are few. Ask the Lord of the harvest, therefore, to send out workers into his harvest field. 3 Go! I am sending you out like lambs among wolves. 4 Do not take a purse or bag or sandals

Luke 22:35-38 - And he said to them, “When I sent you out with no moneybag or knapsack or sandals, did you lack anything?” They said, “Nothing.” He said to them, “But now if you have a purse, take it, and also a bag; and if you don’t have a sword, sell your cloak and buy one. 37 It is written: ‘And he was numbered with the transgressors’; and I tell you that this must be fulfilled in me. Yes, what is written about me is reaching its fulfillment.”

38 The disciples said, “See, Lord, here are two swords.”

“That’s enough!” he replied.

Here is an article that discusses in more detail. Christ grant you wisdom :slight_smile:

Since we know that Jesus rejected Peter’s misguided literal interpretation in Luke 22:51, how should we understand Jesus’ instruction to acquire a “moneybag,” a “traveler’s bag” (more precise renderings of these words) and a sword? Interpreted in light of the immediately unfolding narrative (the agony in the garden, the arrest, the crucifixion), Jesus’ call in Luke 22:36 to acquire these items is seen as a call to readiness, resourcefulness, and vigilance. Jesus is warning his followers—in his characteristically attention-riveting manner—that in the coming days they will need to be prepared for a spiritual battle like they have never before experienced, and it will require a radically different mindset and approach.

Discipleship is a process and a journey. The disciples in Gethsemane were still in process, and still at the beginning of their journey toward Christ-likeness. As the mantle of the leaderships of the Jesus movement falls on them, and the gospel begins to advance beyond Judea “to the furthest parts of the earth” (Acts 1:8), the disciples seem to gain a better grasp of Jesus’ intent, and their own calling: to give their lives away. We read of these men being persecuted, abused, beaten, imprisoned, and killed (Acts 4:1-22; 5:17-42; 8:1-3; 9:1-2; 12:1-5), but we read nothing of physical resistance, violence, or swords.

(scott beau jordan) #3

This was very helpful, I especially liked the Biblical argument for Gun control article. Thanks!

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(SeanO) #4

@scottbeau Glad it helped - it is a very interesting question :slight_smile: