Buy a sword?

Scripture reading for April 25th: Luke 22:35-54

“Then Jesus asked them, “When I sent you without purse, bag or sandals, did you lack anything?”  “Nothing,” they answered. He said to them, “But now if you have a purse, take it, also a bag; and if you don’t have a sword, sell your cloak and buy one.  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.” (Luke 22:35-37)

As Jesus approached the Garden of Gethsemane where His final hours would be excruciatingly painful.  He reminded  His disciples about their mission and His supply of all their needs.  But then He told them of their need to use what they had to care for themselves.  This curious passage has caused many questions over the years.  Why would Jesus tell them to buy swords?   Was He advocating the use of force to defend themselves?  Jesus knew what was ahead, even that very night!  He knew and foretold how these disciple’s faith would be shaken and Peter and the rest would deny Him.

At the Garden of Gethsemane,  Jesus asked them to pray that they not enter into temptation and He withdrew from them a short ways and knelt down to pray.  “Father, if you are willing, take this cup from Me; yet not My will, but Yours be done.”  An angel from heaven appeared to Him and strengthened Him.  And being in anguish, He prayed more earnestly, and His sweat was like drops of blood falling to the ground.” (Luke 22:42-44)  The spiritual conflict was intense.  He was wrestling in prayer, knowing that the final fulfillment of what was written must take place.  In order to accomplish His mission of saving lost sinners, He must be numbered with the transgressors and die for their sins!  Great drops of blood came from His body as He earnestly prayed!

The disciples slept, Jesus woke them as Judas appeared with the band of soldiers.  Judas betrayed His Master with a kiss, and the disciples wondered if the time for swords had come.  One cut off the high priest’s servants ear! “But Jesus answered, “No more of this!”  And He touched the man’s ear and healed him.” (Luke 22:51)  The swords were not for this night!  Jesus must finish His mission!  What an interesting passage to ponder!

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