WHY did Jesus ask His disciples to BUY A SWORD? He said: “he that hath no sword, let him sell his garment, and buy one”. (Luke 22:36)
WHY DID JESUS ASK HIS DISCIPLES TO BUY A SWORD? HE SAID: "HE THAT HATH NO SWORD, LET HIM SELL HIS GARMENT, AND BUY ONE". (LUKE 22:36)
Indeed it is a very interesting statement made by the Prince of peace!
Was Jesus telling them to buy a sword for offence, self-defense, or was He meaning something else? He said earlier:
Resist not evil: but whosoever shall smite thee on thy right cheek, turn to him the other also. And if any man will sue thee at the law, and take away thy coat, let him have thy cloke also... Love your enemies, bless them that curse you, do good to them that hate you, and pray for them which despitefully use you, and persecute you.
(Matthew 5:39, 40, 44)
The real battle is not with fellow humans but with the prince of demons. The apostle Paul penned down clearly these wonderful words of truth:
For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places. (Ephesians 6:12)
We are to be equipped in this great warfare. In fact the entire armories we require in an earthly battle are also required in the spiritual battle. Each earthly weapon symbolizes some spiritual weapon.
Look at how the apostle relates the earthly to the spiritual:
Wherefore take unto you the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand. Stand therefore, having your loins girt about with truth, and having on the breastplate of righteousness;
And your feet shod with the preparation of the Gospel of peace; Above all, taking the shield of faith, wherewith ye shall be able to quench all the fiery darts of the wicked. And take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God: Praying always with all prayer and supplication in the Spirit, and watching thereunto with all perseverance and supplication for all saints. (Ephesians 6:13-18)
You have the "whole armour"-breastplate, shield, helmet, sword, etc! It is not the literal weapons, but rather "the breastplate of righteousness", "the shield of faith", "the helmet of salvation", and "the sword of the Spirit"!
Jesus told each of His disciples to possess a sword. Which sword? Was it literal swords that He bid them have?
Many times we see when Jesus spoke figuratively people got Him wrong. Even the learned Nicodemus misunderstood Christ regarding being born again. When Jesus talked about the spiritual birth he took it literally.
Nicodemus saith unto him, How can a man be born when he is old? can he enter the second time into his mother's womb, and be born? (John 3:4)
On another occasion when Jesus said that all must eat His flesh and drink His blood, the multitude took it literally and misunderstood
Him so badly that most of them never followed Christ after that! John records:
The Jews therefore strove among themselves, saying,
How can this man give us his flesh to eat?... Many therefore of his disciples, when they had heard this, said, This is an hard saying; who can hear it?... From that time many of his disciples went back, and walked no more with him. (John 6:52, 60, 66)
Coming to the swords: Was Jesus talking about the literal swords to be taken? If He meant the literal swords why did He rebuke Peter for using the sword against His enemy, and why did
Jesus heal the injured man? Behold the scene.
Then Simon Peter having a sword drew it, and smote the high priest's servant, and cut off his right ear. The servant's name was Malchus. (John 18:10)
Look at the compassion of Christ even for His enemies who came to kill Him!
And he touched his ear, and healed him. (Luke 22:51)
Notice how Jesus reacted to Peter's method of protecting his
Then said Jesus unto him, Put up again thy sword into his place: for all they that take the sword shall perish with the sword. Thinkest thou that I cannot now pray to my Father, and he shall presently give me more than twelve legions of angels? (Matthew 26:52, 53)
A legion in the Roman army division was around 6,000 soldiers. "Twelve legions of angels": that is, one legion for each of them-Christ and the eleven apostles. (Judas had already joined the enemies of Christ, and was leading the other band!)
Christ did not need any earthly defense; the mighty heavenly air force was at His disposal if He wanted to. In fact we see the enemies of Jesus falling down, powerless, just before they arrested Him.
Judas then, having received a band of men and officers from the chief priests and Pharisees, cometh thither with lanterns and torches and weapons. Jesus therefore, knowing all things that should come upon him, went forth, and said unto them, Whom seek ye? They answered him, Jesus of Nazareth. Jesus saith unto them, I am he. And
Judas also, which betrayed him, stood with them. As soon then as he had said unto them, I am he, they went backward, and fell to the ground. (John 18:3-6)
The power of the divine Christ most likely flashed forth through
His human flesh, as it happened also on the Mount of Transfiguration where the three apostles of Jesus fell down on their faces seeing His glory (See Matthew 17:1-7).
God was giving His murderers another chance to let them know whom they were about the handle and crucify!
Before telling His disciples about the fierce battle ahead in
Gethsemane and Calvary, Jesus cautioned Peter about the attack of the devil on him.
And the Lord said, Simon, Simon, behold, Satan hath desired to have you, that he may sift you as wheat: But I have prayed for thee, that thy faith fail not: and when thou art converted, strengthen thy brethren. And he said unto him, Lord, I am ready to go with thee, both into prison, and to death. And he said, I tell thee, Peter, the cock shall not crow this day, before that thou shalt thrice deny that thou knowest me. (Luke 22:31-34)
Peter and the rest had no idea as to what exactly Christ spoke.
They had so many preconceived opinions about the future.
Peter truly loved the Lord. We can see it when he took the sword to defend his Master! But he trusted his own strength and wisdom. Therefore he finally denied his dearly beloved Lord. When he realized what he had done he wept bitterly!
And the Lord turned, and looked upon Peter. And Peter remembered the word of the Lord, how he had said unto him, Before the cock crow, thou shalt deny me thrice.
And Peter went out, and wept bitterly. (Luke 22:61, 62)
Peter and the rest failed during the crucial hour of test and temptation because they did not understand the Word of God! They did not put on the whole armor of God, but rather had the physical armor!
Which sword did Christ mean? Obviously He did not mean the literal sword as he rebuked Peter for using it. The Scripture reveals the true sword.
The sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God.
Revelation talks about the sword that Christ will use, as His weapon, to defeat His enemies finally:
And out of his mouth goeth a sharp sword, that with it he should smite the nations. (Revelation 19:15)
The sword that comes from His mouth is His Word!
Even in the wilderness when He was battling it out with the devil Christ used the "sword"-the sword of the Spirit, which is the Word of God. For all the three fierce temptations that Satan assailed
Him with, the weapon of Jesus was the Word of God-"It is written"!
(See Matthew 4:1-11)
Christ was asking them to get ready for the fiercest battle that was just ahead of them. He was asking them to get equipped.
After telling the disciples to get prepared for the battle, Christ showed them as to what He meant, by taking them to the Garden of Gethsemane, for a powerful season of prayer, and the battle with the forces of darkness.
Then cometh Jesus with them unto a place called
Gethsemane, and saith unto the disciples, Sit ye here, while I go and pray yonder. And he took with him Peter and the two sons of Zebedee, and began to be sorrowful and very heavy. Then saith he unto them, My soul is exceeding sorrowful, even unto death: tarry ye here, and watch with me. (Matthew 26:36-38)
Instead of watching and praying, the disciples were overtaken with sleep. Jesus battles it alone! And He comes to check how the disciples are fairing in their battle, and, lo, they are already knocked out!
And he cometh unto the disciples, and findeth them asleep, and saith unto Peter, What, could ye not watch with me one hour? Watch and pray, that ye enter not into temptation: the spirit indeed is willing, but the flesh is weak. (Matthew 26:40, 41)
Peter had a sword, but the wrong sword! What he was told to have was the spiritual sword to fight the battle in the Garden of great temptation. They were to "watch and pray" to escape temptation.
But they slept, and therefore Peter fell into temptation, and to the enemies' trap. And to make up for the spiritual sword, he wielded his literal sword!
ONE MIGHT SAY: Jesus said that the two swords which they had were "enough". Therefore it is obvious that He was referring to the literal swords!
And they said, Lord, behold, here are two swords. And he said unto them, It is enough. (Luke 22:38)
Please note, Jesus did not say "the two swords were enough", but said, "It is enough". If Jesus meant about the literal swords, how could two swords be enough for twelve people if they were going to war? And if Jesus meant just two swords were enough then He would be contradicting His own words earlier, where He told all of them should have a sword each! He said earlier:
He that hath no sword, let him sell his garment, and buy one. (Luke 22:36)
Therefore, "It is enough", means, to wind up this conversation, as it was also time up to go and start praying! And the next thing they did was to march to the site of spiritual warfare.
And they said, Lord, behold, here are two swords. And he said unto them, It is enough. And he came out, and went, as he was wont, to the mount of Olives; and his disciples also followed him. (Luke 22:38, 39)
Also Christ wanted to end that conversation, as they were not in a position to understand what He was saying. Jesus told them earlier:
I have yet many things to say unto you, but ye cannot bear them now. Howbeit when he, the Spirit of truth, is come, he will guide you into all truth. (John 16:12, 13)
They were not to have the two swords, but the two-edged sword!
For the word of God is quick, and powerful, and sharper than any twoedged sword. (Hebrews 4:12)
This is the powerful weapon that Jesus wields against His enemies.
These things saith he which hath the sharp sword with two edges. (Revelation 2:12)
ONE MIGHT AGAIN SAY: If Christ meant the spiritual sword why did He say to "buy" a sword? He said:
He that hath no sword, let him sell his garment, and buy one. (Luke 22:36)
Well, this method of speaking spiritual things in a literal way was not new. Jesus used the illustration of selling something to buy another thing even in His parables.
Again, the kingdom of heaven is like unto treasure hid in a field; the which when a man hath found, he hideth, and for joy thereof goeth and selleth all that he hath, and buyeth that field. (Matthew 13:44)
To get something spiritual we have to "sell" or give up the things that are an obstacle to its possession. It is only when we give up our selfish ambitions and motives we will be able the "buy" or receive the heavenly gift. Though spiritual things are free we are to "buy" it,
as the Gospel prophet, Isaiah, too, penned down the invitation of
God regarding "buying" things for free!
Ho, every one that thirsteth, come ye to the waters, and he that hath no money; come ye, buy, and eat; yea, come, buy wine and milk without money and without price.
Jesus told Peter just before the temptation in the Garden to strength his brethren later when he got converted. And when the apostle got converted he admonished God's people to give much attention to the sword, which he lacked-the Word of God. He wrote:
We have also a more sure word of prophecy; whereunto ye do well that ye take heed, as unto a light that shineth in a dark place, until the day dawn, and the day star arise in your hearts. (2 Peter 1:19)
Are we carrying the sword everyday? We need to! But not the literal sword that Peter once carried, but:
The sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God. (Ephesians 6:17)
For the word of God is quick, and powerful, and sharper than any twoedged sword, piercing even to the dividing asunder of soul and spirit, and of the joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart. (Hebrews 4:12)