Take the sword!
There were quite a few passages and a number of stories to read this morning in Luke Chapters 21 & 22, I thought I did well for a Monday morning. Especially as this is the first day for our family to be a two job family again and ‘Hubbie’ has left me in charge of the kids!
I read the story of the poor widow who gives all she can; both a moving and challenging message from Jesus there. Jesus goes on to tell of the future and of His return. Jesus also tells his disciples to be watchful and in Chapter 22, there are the following important stories around Jesus Death and Resurrection:
· The plot to kill Jesus.
· Jesus’ betrayal.
· Preparations for the Passover.
· The Last Supper.
· Jesus predicts Peter’s denial.
· Peter’s denial.
· Jesus agonising in the garden – sweating blood.
· Jesus is arrested & condemned by the Religious leaders.
Interestingly, in the last few verses of Chapter 20, that I read yesterday, Jesus gave a warning against the Religious leaders and not long after this warning, these leaders carry out their plot to murder Jesus, the Messiah.
There is clearly a lot happening in these passages in Luke 21 and 22, but what struck me was Jesus telling his disciples to buy a sword:
‘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, and also a bag; and if you don’t have a sword, sell your cloak and buy one.’
Now Jesus reverses His earlier advice, found in Luke 9:3, when He tells His disciples not to take anything; no food, no money, no bag, no extra coat and no walking stick. Jesus told the disciples this time that they should bring a bag, money and now a sword as well. In fact, He tells them if they didn’t have a sword, they should even sell their clothes to buy one! Jesus knew His disciples would be facing hatred and persecution and that they would need to be prepared.
I guess we may not face the kinds of persecution that faced the disciples and the Early Church, but we, like the disciples do need to carry our sword and that’s the sword of God’s word:
Stand firm then, with the belt of truth buckled around your waist,with the breastplate of righteousness in place,and with your feet fitted with the readiness that comes from the gospel of peace.In addition to all this, take up the shield of faith,with which you can extinguish all the flaming arrows of the evil one.Take the helmet of salvationand the sword of the Spirit,which is the word of God. ( Ephesians 6:14-17)