The Evangelical Universalist Forum

Two Swords are Enough

HWC, I tend to agree with Cindy, that the sword was needed for self defense.
Mark 6:7 says “Then Jesus called the twelve to Him and began to send them out two by two giving them authority over unclean spirits. He instructed them to take nothing but a staff for the journey, no bread, no bag, no money…”
Luke 10:1 “After this, the Lord appointed 72 others and sent them two by two…” verse 4 “carry no purse or bag or sandals…”

According to these verses, they were already going out in twos with nothing but the Word/ Spirit of God. However, Jesus does not tell them to continue to do so, but instead, He instructs them to take a purse and sell their garments to purchase a sword. Buying a sword is the key thing here. One can’t buy spiritual knowledge.

Jesus is not telling them to take a sword for self defense. Jesus telling them to take a sword to kill others with offensively. But that Sword is not a literal sword. It is the Word of God.

HCW, In looking at the verses, I would have to disagree. Luke 22:35-38 “When I sent you ( in twos) without money, bag, sack and sandals, did you lack anything?” The answer to this question is no. They were already “killing” others offensively with the Word of God as you suggest. However, in verse 36, this is now not enough. It does not make any sense to say "But now, he who has a money bag, let him take it, and likewise a sack; and he who has no sword(Word of God), let him sell his garment and buy one( the Word of God). Neither does it make sense to say this sword was another with the testimony of God, "He who has no sword ( companion), let him sell his garment and buy one(companion).

Maybe they went out and hired some bodyguards, who knows? In any event, they needed self protection. These were violent times. I believe in self defense. If a criminal breaks into my house, I am not going to whip out the Bible and have a Bible study with the guy. The time for that was before he broke into my house. Now is the time to protect myself and my family.

Ok, then let’s take your approach and say that Jesus was advising protection. Why then did He previous say that when He sent them out did they lack anything? If they were not lacking protection, then why suddenly do they need protection? What changed from before?

Prudence is a virtue. It was simply prudent to be able to protect themselves. Really, just because it was not recorded that He said it on another occasion, does not imply that he did not. Jesus was a practical, rural peasant Jew and had plenty of common sense - in addition to being the smartest person who ever lived.

Yes, your points that “2 of them were enough,” and regarding the sending out of witnesses “two by two” are right-on.

But in “Question 62” Murray does reference Hebrews 4:12, to argue that “sword” is metaphorical for the word of God:

***For the word of God is quick, and powerful, and sharper than any twoedged sword, piercing even to the dividing asunder of soul and spirit, and of the joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart.***Murray often contends that God is nonviolent, and wants us to be, too. That is not to say that we are to be victimized and defrauded by Satan, but that “Our struggle is NOT against flesh and blood,” and The weapons of our warfare are NOT carnal.” Ephesians 6:12, 2 Corinthians 10:4.


I was going through the Internet. And came across this discussion - on a Catholic forum:

What does Luke 22:35-38 mean?

I found the discussion interesting, in that it evokes - different opinions. Let me present, a couple of samples:

Then the famous works of Sigmund Freud - came to mind.

For those that believe the swords are for protection, how to you square that position with these verses:

Rom 12:17 Recompense to no man evil for evil. Provide things honest in the sight of all men.
Rom 12:18 If it be possible, as much as lieth in you, live peaceably with all men.
Rom 12:19 Dearly beloved, avenge not yourselves, but rather give place unto wrath: for it is written, Vengeance is mine; I will repay, saith the Lord.

It gets into bigger questions.

Is it OK, to go to war? Should the US retaliate - for example - if North Korea, sends a nuclear missile towards Washington?
If the Las Vegas shooter, is busy killing people. And you had a gun and could save lives - by shooting him - would you?

It get’s into ethical or moral dilemmas. We should strive for peace. And try to avoid violence - at all costs. But if we have no choice - then what?

And what do you make, of Matthew 10:34?

The question is not about recompense nor avenging, right?? It’s about prudently protecting yourself. Am I missing something?

Well, I think the directive is to each of us personally that are in Christ. The United States is not in Christ.

As for this verse:

Mat 10:34 Think not that I am come to send peace on earth: I came not to send peace, but a sword.

The Sword again is a reference to the Word of God.

Eph_6:17 And take the helmet of salvation,** and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God:

I believe God can protect each of us (that are in Christ) and if He has a purpose for calling you in this world then that is the purpose that is going take place and nobody is going to stop that from happening.

Consider that Paul:

2Co 11:23 Are they ministers of Christ? (I speak as a fool) I am more; in labours more abundant, in stripes above measure, in prisons more frequent, in deaths oft.
2Co 11:24 Of the Jews five times received I forty stripes save one.
2Co 11:25 Thrice was I beaten with rods, once was I stoned, thrice I suffered shipwreck, a night and a day I have been in the deep;
2Co 11:26 In journeyings often, in perils of waters, in perils of robbers, in perils by mine own countrymen, in perils by the heathen, in perils in the city, in perils in the wilderness, in perils in the sea, in perils among false brethren;
2Co 11:27 In weariness and painfulness, in watchings often, in hunger and thirst, in fastings often, in cold and nakedness.
2Co 11:28 Beside those things that are without, that which cometh upon me daily, the care of all the churches.
2Co 11:29 Who is weak, and I am not weak? who is offended, and I burn not?
2Co 11:30 If I must needs glory, I will glory of the things which concern mine infirmities.
2Co 11:31 The God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, which is blessed for evermore, knoweth that I lie not.

God protects us until we serve the purpose He has for us as Christians. It doesn’t mean we wont suffer persecutions and all these other things but those things will not take away the purpose that God has for us and we will NOT die until that purpose as Christians is completed.

We do not know that Paul carried no sword, however against an angry mob, a sword wouldn’t be much help. In any case, whether or not Paul carried a sword, Jesus saw fit to advise His disciples to purchase one even if it meant selling that one’s cloak. The sword goes along with the purse and etc. The disciples didn’t require them on their earlier journeys but they WILL need them on subsequent occasions.

Regarding Jesus saying “I didn’t come to bring peace, but a sword,” this was a metaphor meant to warn His listeners that He would be a cause of contention and division even in the closest of relationships.

Regarding nations going to war, the idea that the USA is not “in Christ” is irrelevant. The man or woman who gives the order to launch a counter strike is a human being and either in Christ or not yet in Christ. If he is in Christ, is he thereby forbidden to come to the defense of his countrymen? Is it then immoral for a president who is a Christ follower to give the order to defend the nation? Or is it okay to give the order but not to personally pull the trigger? By this logic, if we’re to be consistent, all LEOs must be non-Christians and Christians must not ask to be defended by them, because that would be no better than sin by proxy. If the POTUS (or similar) is a Christian, wouldn’t it be hypocritical for her/him to accede to being accompanied by armed bodyguards? You see the logical extremes to which this extra-biblical doctrine takes us?

The sword is for self defense. It’s the only logical conclusion. If it offends your personal ethic, then don’t carry a “sword.” As for myself I’d never carry a sword except maybe as a costume accessory. I prefer a Shield. It’s much easier to conceal.

HCW, As John 9:4 says “While it is daytime, we must do the work of Him who sent Me. Night is coming when no one can work.”

That thought can easily lead us, into a kind of fatalism. Like that the Muslims, Calvinists and “no free will” Christianity presents. We need to thread carefully here. :wink:

By the way. Let’s look at the answer given, by the Calvinist site Got Questions:

What did Jesus mean by coming to bring a sword in Matthew 10:34-36?

The answer they give is more in line with Cindy’s answer…then yours, as the word of God.

I think we need to strive for balance, between being peaceful and being practical.

On the one hand, if mankind doesn’t change their ways…It could lead to the tribulation, and the Zombie Apocalypse. And I am like Paul Revere, yelling:

On the other hand, I see things - in a positive vein. Like that seen by the Eastern Orthodox/ Eastern Catholics and TV evangelist Joel Osteen.

I try to live in harmony - between these two extremes.

I’m sorry to say this, but I don’t find this entire discussion (argument?) to be very edifying.

It’s called practical or pragmatic Christianity. You might be trying to frame everything - in the NT - into a framework of peace. Like the Quakers and Mennonites do. I can respect it. But we live in a fallen world. And we sometimes have to make choices - that aren’t very pleasant. Like not being peaceful, if push comes to shove. If you want to ALWAYS be peaceful…because that’s how you view Christ and the NT - so be it. I can still be a Christian, in the FULL sense. But NOT always be peaceful - if push comes to shove.

Now suppose I have a black belt in Jiu-Jitsu, I’m an expert marksman, have a concealed weapons permit and I’m a Christian…I honor all scripture as true…as well as the historical creeds. And I try to be peaceful. From my perspective, I can use the Jiu-Jitsu - and the firearm…should the need arise…and still be a Christian.

Well, thanks for putting me straight, HFPZ. I accept your counsel. Hereon, although I don’t have a sword. I guess I can feel free to take the gloves off.

Take them off mainly with HFPZ. :laughing: :laughing:
(Just kidding - we do kidding too).

I think we need, a lesson in fighting. From a first class terror. :laughing:

Mainly, I think we need to align ourselves - with the historical church fathers, the historic creeds and the thoughts of reformers. Otherwise, we can get many interesting variations. Like:

My own tribulation and the Zombie Apocalypse. Which I feel is the most realistic, of the statistical outliers…, of traditional, bell-shaped curve theologies - presented here. We have everything done - Full Preterism. Ultra universalism - God waves his magic wand and let’s everyone in. Or no free will and universalism. God and the devil are equal, in power and might. And everything is idealism - Christian science. All equally plausible and defendable - by sola scriptura.

But we need, BOTH Christian men and women of peace…As well as, Christian men and women of war - at times.

I think we need to discern the Spirit in the words that Jesus said. When we take what He said literally then I believe we have stumbled.