Church of God, New World Ministries

Bible Q & A

Q. I’m confused about Luke 22:36. If Christians are not to fight, why did Christ tell those who had no sword to go and buy one?
A. The answer to this problem is found in Luke 22:37: “And he was numbered with the transgressors: (Isa. 53:12). The Fenton Translation has this as “Ranked among outlaws.”

In order for this prophecy to be fulfilled, it was necessary for Christ to be taken into custody as an ordinary thief and be treated as an ordinary criminal even though He Himself was not a transgressor (Luke 22:52). This is exactly what happened even to Christ. He was put to death as a common criminal (Mark 15:27-28).

But how do the “two swords” make Christ appear as a criminal? Luke 22:38 says, “And he said unto them, it is enough.” Commentators assume that Christ’s words, “It is enough,” means that He wished to terminate the subject under discussion since two swords would not begin to provide the protection needed! And in so saying approved of the use of force.

The two swords were not for protection but were only to give the Pharisees an excuse to consider Christ a criminal. The swords were enough to spread the report that He and His disciples were armed. Judas probably told this story when he betrayed Christ. Therefore, His captors came out with swords and staves (Luke 22:52).

Christ never intended for the swords to be used. In fact, He forbade them to use the swords even in self-defense. Notice! When the mob laid hold on Him, the disciples asked Him: “Lord, shall we smite with the sword?” And immediately, impetuous Peter “smote the high priest’s servant and cut off his right ear” (Luke 22:49-50; John 18:10-11). Jesus exclaimed: “Suffer ye thus far” (or better translated, “no more of that” and at that instant restored the man’s ear completely.

Christ then taught a great lesson for men of all times. He said: “Put up again thy sword into his place: for all they that take the sword shall perish with the sword” (Matt. 26:52).
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