Luke 22:36-38—Then He said to them, “But now, whoever has a money-bag should take it, and also a traveling bag. And whoever doesn’t have a sword should sell his robe and buy one. For I tell you, what is written must be fulfilled in Me. And He was counted among the outlaws. Yes, what is written about Me is coming to its fulfillment.”
“Lord,” they said, “look, here are two swords.”
“Enough of that!” He told them.
Jesus instructed His disciples in what they would need after He left them. Unlike the first time when He commissioned them and sent them out with nothing but the clothes on their back (10:3,4), this time He urged them to travel equipped. In the first instance He wanted to build their faith, now He was concerned with their ongoing survival. But not surprisingly, the disciples did not understand His guidance. They could not grasp the reality that He would be leaving them. This stemmed primarily to their belief that the Messiah came to be a liberator who would rescue Israel from Roman oppressors. Naturally it made sense to them to focus on the need for swords. If Jesus was to be counted among the outlaws, obviously they could look forward to upcoming battles!
Why did Jesus even mention the need to buy a sword? Could it be that He was testing the hearts of His followers? After five years of active duty in the Army, I heard the call of God to go into ministry. But before I left, I was offered the opportunity to earn my Master’s Degree and return to West Point to teach. This was a dream job and the sweet chance to further my education at the government’s expense. Certainly I felt the Lord giving me favor and could have remained on active duty. But to me the test was turning down the secure job to follow the Lord’s leading.
How often we miss the true meaning of God’s instruction because we focus in on what we want to hear. Essentially, our agenda replaces the Lord’s agenda and we gravitate towards that which will bring to fruition our goals. We offer up two swords not understanding Jesus has no intention of arming a force. The sword was for their protection not His.
Misinterpretation occurs when we fail to carefully listen to what the Master has said. If the disciples had asked Jesus to clarify His statement they would have gained deeper insight into His advice. If we would ask more and listen better before making suggestions and taking action, we would be better saints. Doug Pollock wrote in God Space, “Listening requires us to die to ourselves and our agendas.” The Russians have a proverb, “Don’t hurry to reply, but hurry to listen.” If God has to tell us, “Enough of that!” we have surely missed His meaning.
©2012 Daniel York ARR. Reveration is the weekly devotional ministry of First Cause. If you would like to receive these devotionals go to www.firstcause.org and click on the “Click here to receive weekly devotionals” box. Unlimited permission to copy this devotional without altering text or profiteering is allowed subject to inclusion of this copyright notice.
Ecclesiastes 12:10-The Teacher sought to find delightful sayings and to accurately write words of truth. (Holman CSB)