Jesus Gives Instructions

Timothy wrote to tell us in the last days just how bad it is going to get (1 Timothy 3:1) and Jesus gives instructions on how to be ready. What our Lord taught His disciples is passed on to us in Luke 22:36 holding a truth which prepares us for these present days,  “…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, New International Version).  For those who believe that the English Standard Bible is the most accurate modern-day translation, “He said to them, ‘But now let the one who has a money bag take it, and likewise a knapsack.  And let the one who has no sword sell his cloak and buy one.”  

This passage of Scripture is found in the conversation of Jesus with His disciples during the Last Supper.  He is about to be taken from them (Luke 22:37) and He is giving them instructions so they can carry on the work of the Lord.

Let’s make it clear,  A “sword” (μάχαιρα máchaira), originally a large knife for killing…was a curved weapon for close combat. (Analytical Lexicon of the Greek New Testament; Theological Dictionary of the New Testament; Dictionary of Biblical Languages with Semantic Domains) The sword in Luke 22:36 is not for a vigilante style of justice, but for provision and protection in this life. In contemporary society, a “sword” can relate to owning a gun or another similar weapon, to use for provision and protection of life.

On his teaching of Luke 22:36, Preacher/Teacher James Vernon McGee wrote, “…You had better be prepared to protect yourself and your love ones.  We are living in difficult days. The King James Bible records Jesus’ words, “He hath no sword, let him sell his garment, and buy one.”  Why?  For protection, of course.  They were living in days that required a sword.  We need to recognize that fact also.” (Thru The Bible Commentary, Page 347, paragraph 2 and 3 Copyright 1983) Jamieson, Fausset and Brown wrote, “[you] will now need support, provision and the usual means of defense.”  We live in days that require a “sword” [a gun, or something] for protection.

As long as there are places and venues which can be perceived as “soft-targets,” assailants who are intent on killing as many people as possible will continue to attack such places. Obedient Christians and responsible people strive to gain finances, work for provisions, and purchase what is needed for protection. Now is not the time to reject the teachings of Jesus Christ and put trust in the conjecture of mankind. Scripture is clear on this topic may you seek the Holy Spirit for illumination and guidance.