Q: Jesus is a man of peace, yet states to his disciples in Luke 22:36:

“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.”

Seems to contradict his other teaching about turning the cheek?

A: Yes, Jesus truly was ‘a man of peace’—The Prince of Peace (Isaiah 9:6).  He never lead an army or even resisted his own arrest–going willingly to his death. But one day he will rule and the entire world will be at peace.

The context of the statement of Jesus in Luke 22:36 has to be considered along with, and in contrast to: Luke 10:4-7, particularly verse 4:

“Do not take a purse or bag or sandals;…”

Now (LK 22:35-36) the situation has changed: take a purse, take a bag, not only take sandals, but also a sword! That is really the point that Jesus is making–the whole situation was changing.The disciples missed the point: “We have two, is that enough?” I can hear Jesus saying “oi vey” at that response, or in our current vernacular: “Yeah right, what ever!”–with a tone of resignation. Jesus many times used symbols, hyperbole, and ironic statements in his teaching. The disciples rarely seemed to understand, we even have difficulty with some of his statements today and this is surely one!

Later in the same chapter, when Jesus was arrested (LK 22:49-51), he stopped his disciples from using the swords and even heals the one who was struck. This really does confirm that the disciples mistook what Jesus was saying. By his own words and deeds, we see here that he was not advocating violence. In fact, he chastises the chief priests for coming after him in a violent manner–with swords and clubs like he was some common criminal.

Yes, Jesus truly was a ‘man of peace’. What he was really saying in Luke 22:36–‘the times they are a-changing!’

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