“If you don’t have a sword… buy one.”

“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’s enough!” he replied. (Luke 22:35-38)

Was Jesus telling His disciples to literally go and buy swords (or daggers) for self-protection? If so, how would two swords be enough to protect twelve or more disciples? Shouldn’t each disciple have his own sword?

Or was Jesus merely saying that dangerous times lay ahead, using hyperbole to make His point? Hyperbole is an exaggerated statement, and was often used by Jesus, e.g. “If your right hand causes you to stumble, cut it off.”

A plain reading of this passage seems to indicate that Jesus wanted them to have swords so that they would be considered “transgressors” (or outlaws) upon His arrest, in order to fulfill that specific prophecy that he was “numbered with the transgressors” or “counted as one of the outlaws.” For this purpose, two swords were “enough.”

Conclusion: Jesus was not advocating that His followers purchase weapons for self-defense.

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