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“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. 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." The disciples said, "See, Lord, here are two swords." "That is enough," he replied. ” ~Lk 22:35-38

Jesus instructed His disciples to take their money, bags and shoes with them, as these were basic necessities for travelling. Ever since they became His disciples, they had never brought along these things with them. The reason was, Jesus, the all-abundant Lord provided for them whenever He sent them out. Therefore the disciples did not have to worry over these things.

Now the situation had changed. With the Lord being listed among the criminals and His disciples were about to lose their pillar of support, this prompted Him to prepare them against the coming persecution. Jesus’ instructions to the disciples to prepare their purses, bags and shoes were reasonable, but why did the Lord insist that they sell their cloaks to buy swords? Could it be that the Lord wanted them to defend themselves in the coming persecution with swords? However, when the Lord was shown two swords by His disciples, His reply was “that is enough.” If the swords were to be used as weapons against the Roman soldiers, would two swords be enough? On the night when the Roman soldiers apprehended Jesus, He forbade His disciples from retaliating by explaining that He could have summoned more than twelve legions of angels easily to protect Him. If one angel could kill more than one hundred thousand soldiers in a single night (2Ki 19:35), what purpose would two swords serve? The Lord must have other intentions for instructing His disciples to buy swords.

The actual meaning of “sell your cloak” is to be understood as “at all costs” – even to the extent of being deprived of clothes. “Buying a sword” is to sound the need to be alert and vigilant. The Lord wanted His disciples to remain alert and vigilant of the imminent persecution at all cost. When the disciples showed the swords to Jesus, it was an acknowledgment of having understood the severity of the matter. When the Lord said “that is enough,” He did not mean that the two swords were enough to fend off the enemy. Rather, He meant that as long as the disciples were aware of the coming dangers and kept themselves alert, that was enough.

Then, who did the Lord wish to protect with their “swords?” Was it Himself or the disciples? And who were the enemies to defeat, the Roman soldiers or the guards of the high priests?