Listen:  152.3

These are some very good questions! Let’s read Luke 22:35-38, “And He said unto them, When I sent you without money bag, knapsack, and sandals, did you lack anything? So they said, Nothing. Then He said unto them, But now, he who has a money bag, let him take it, and likewise a knapsack; and he who has no sword, let him sell his garment and buy one. For I say unto you that this which is written must still be accomplished in Me: ‘And He was numbered with the transgressors.’ For the things concerning Me have an end. So they said, Lord, look, here are two swords. And He said to them, It is enough” (NKJV).

Let’s get the context first before tackling the issue about the “swords.” Jesus reminds His disciples that when He had sent them out earlier without any provisions, their needs were met. They lacked nothing because Jesus Himself provided for their every need AND because they received warm hospitality from people who accepted their message. But things were going to change DRASTICALLY! Why? Because Jesus was going to be arrested and crucified, thus fulfilling Isaiah 53:12, “…and He was numbered with the transgressors.” This would leave the disciples alone and exposed to physical danger from people that hated them and would kill them if they could. Now instead of HOSPITALITY from friends they would face HOSTILITY from foes!

This begs the questions that have been asked, “What swords are these and what are they to be used for? Are they “literal swords” and if so, are they to be used against their enemies. If they are literal swords, we can hardly imagine that they were to be used in warfare against their enemies, for this would contradict the Lord’s teaching in John 18:36 which reads, “My kingdom is not of this world: if my kingdom were of this world, then would my servants fight.” He would also warn Peter and the others, in Matthew 26:52, “Put up again thy sword into his place: for all they that take the sword shall perish with the sword.” And besides this, the “two swords” referred to in verse 38 would NOT be enough for this kind of conflict. So, what DID Jesus mean by the sword? I can only think of 2 possible suggestions that would fit the context:

  1. The swords are “literal” but they are to be used against wild animals, NOT against their enemies. Remember, they were now to be utterly rejected and would not experience the hospitality they once did, so they would have to resort to living outdoors at times where wild animals lived.
  2. The Lord used the word sword, along with the words money bag and knapsack, “figuratively” to prepare them for the drastic change that was to occur; He never meant to imply that they should literally use a sword to smite anyone or anything. The Lord had often warned them about His impending rejection and crucifixion, but it always fell on deaf ears.

Now He is using plain words that they could easily understand to drive home the truth that their lives were about to change radically and they would be exposed to danger from enemies. The disciples took everything “literally” and so they produced “two swords”; the Lord responded by saying, “It is enough.” His words mean “Enough of this kind of talk.” He knew His message wasn’t being understood, so He ended the discussion with these words.  (152.3)  (DO)