Looking Towards Forever: Luke 22:31-38

Focus Passage: Luke 22:31-38 (NIV)

31 “Simon, Simon, Satan has asked to sift all of you as wheat. 32 But I have prayed for you, Simon, that your faith may not fail. And when you have turned back, strengthen your brothers.”

33 But he replied, “Lord, I am ready to go with you to prison and to death.”

34 Jesus answered, “I tell you, Peter, before the rooster crows today, you will deny three times that you know me.”

35 Then Jesus asked them, “When I sent you without purse, bag or sandals, did you lack anything?”

“Nothing,” they answered.

36 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. 37 It is written: ‘And he was numbered with the transgressors’; and I tell you that this must be fulfilled in me. Yes, what is written about me is reaching its fulfillment.”

38 The disciples said, “See, Lord, here are two swords.”

“That’s enough!” he replied.

Read Luke 22:31-38 in context and/or in other translations on BibleGateway.com!

On the night of Jesus’ arrest, Luke includes an interesting instruction that Jesus shares with His disciples during their supper together. In this instruction, Jesus echoes back to an earlier challenge He gave to the disciples.

Luke tells us Jesus sets up this statement by asking the disciples, “When I sent you without purse, bag or sandals, did you lack anything?” (v. 35a)

The disciples responded by saying, “Nothing.” (v. 35b)

Then Jesus adjusts and updates this earlier command by telling 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. It is written: ‘And he was numbered with the transgressors’; and I tell you that this must be fulfilled in me. Yes, what is written about me is reaching its fulfillment.” (v. 36-37)

On the surface, this seems pretty practical. Earlier, it was safe to be associated with Jesus, but from this point forward, being one of Jesus’ followers could potentially be dangerous.

Jesus intended His instructions for each disciple personally moving forward, but they seemed to understand His words as transitioning His ministry into a military one. In this statement, the disciples excitement was felt because Jesus seemed to be preparing for the conquest against the Romans that tradition at the time said would happen. The disciples eagerly tell Jesus, “See, Lord, here are two swords.” (v. 38a)

It’s as though the disciples heard Jesus’ instructions to buy a single sword, and they are excited because they doubled His expectation with two swords. But Jesus, realizing that they have missed His point simply responds, “That’s enough!” (v. 38b)

Jesus was not interested in taking a military role for His ministry. The swords He recommended the disciples purchasing were not intended for offensive action. The swords were simply to be a deterrent for someone else deciding whether or not to attack. One is less likely to attack someone who is armed than one who is not armed.

Following Jesus after His death has been more physically dangerous at some points than at others. Early on, Christians were crucified and fed to lions for sport.

However, following Jesus at this time is less physically dangerous in most places of our world, but the growing danger is one that is a social danger. It is unpopular to associate with Jesus openly, and while the pendulum is swinging away from Christian spirituality, it will only become more unpopular to hold to a Biblical worldview.

But Jesus has called His followers to take the harder, unpopular path – the one that gives glory and honor towards the Father. What Jesus predicted came true. He was numbered with those who broke the law, and He was crucified – but His crucifixion opens the way for us to have eternal life. When we put our belief, faith, hope, and trust in Jesus, we are safe to save for eternity – and eternity lasts longer than today’s popular opinion.

This thought was inspired by studying the Walking With Jesus "Reflective Bible Study" package. To discover insights like this in your own study time, click here and give Reflective Bible Study a try today!

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