“And He said to them, ‘But now, let him who has a purse take it along, likewise also a bag, and let him who has no sword sell his robe and buy one.’” (Luke 22:36)
Someone asked me to explain the above verse and especially that last part about buying a sword. And when you take it together with our Lord’s statement in Matthew 10:34, “I did not come to bring peace [on the earth], but a sword,” it can be somewhat confusing. Could it be that Jesus is talking out of both sides of His mouth (saying different things to different people about the same subject)? Well, we know that can’t possibly be true.
And it’s a good thing to point out again here that if there’s something in the Bible that doesn’t make sense or seemingly contradicts itself, the problem isn’t with the Bible, the problem is with our understanding. Don’t throw the Scriptures out just because something doesn’t seem to fit. But I digress.
And let me just cut to the chase. Jesus wasn’t talking so much about that He was against peace in Matthew 10:34. (How could He be being that He is the Prince of Peace!) But rather, what Jesus was talking about was that His message (the Gospel), when shared, will shake some people up. “I have not come to bring peace [on the earth], but a sword.” Our Lord’s message will shake some people up. “Them’s fightin’ words” – this is how some people will respond (even some family members!) when you tell them that Jesus is the only way. Have you found it to be true in your own life? I sure have.
Which brings us to Luke 22:36 and as Jesus talks about a sword there, also. It is prior to His upcoming arrest and subsequent trial that He tells his disciples to purchase a sword. But why would He say that and especially since Peter will go on and use one to chop off someone’s ear in the Garden?
Well, Christ never intended for that to happen. Instead, what He was doing in directing the disciples to “arm themselves” was He was trying to indicate to them that the “season” had changed. Whereas in the past Jesus sent the disciples out to minister and that season required neither a worry about “provision or defen[se]” (Edersheim; Vol. 2; pg. 537), now the heat was being turned up. Now the trials were going to intensify. Surely that would be the case in our Lord’s life. He would be crucified on a cross! How much more then would the challenges be for His followers?
This is what Jesus meant when He gave the counsel to purchase a sword. He was trying to communicate something about the season. But still the disciples were slow to understand. It would be only the crucible itself that would teach them.
In closing, I would like to suggest that the season has changed on our planet. (It doesn’t take a rocket scientist to realize it.) It’s time for us to go sword shopping like the disciples long ago. He who has ears to hear, let him hear.
(The Taking of Christ by Caravaggio picture file above is in the public domain: click here.)
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About Mike Campagna
Mike Campagna (affectionately known by some as Pastor Mike) is making the most of web technologies to encourage disciples. A self-proclaimed “twitterholic,” one twitter follower describes him as the “jogging, blogging, tweeting Pastor.” Visits to Pastor Mike’s blog (http://www.aheartforgod.org) number in the hundreds of thousands. His video blogs have been viewed over a half a million times. His day job is content manager/social media specialist for Sugar Pine Realty. Pastor Mike and his family have lived in the Sonora area of California since 1997.
I present posts about God's Word, with a personal focus on how God's grace is received through saving faith in the Lord Jesus Christ... Sinners must understand and obey the Gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ... See this link for more...