Did Jesus promote violence?
Luke 22:36 -
Then said he to them, But now, he that hath a purse, let him take it, and likewise his sack: and he that hath no sword, let him sell his garment, and buy one.
The first time I read this scripture it disturbed me as to what Jesus was trying to say? Why did He suggest His disciples to take up swords?
At times when Muslims debate between the character of Jesus and of Muhammad they try to justify Muhammad's violent approach by stating this scripture, stating that even Jesus told to take up swords. I have seen Christians counter this accusation by stating what Jesus did when Peter actually used the sword and cut the Roman soldier's ear, showing Jesus did not actually promote violence. But the question was yet on my mind as to why Jesus made this statement and what did He mean by it.
Yesterday we got the message of how even anointed Men of God who give their lives for God, sacrifice everything for God, yet land up making mistakes because at times the worldly understanding burrs their thinking. Today's message takes yesterday's message to the next step to open our minds to a better understanding.
Day before yesterday a bro who was Muslim and came to know the Lord gave his testimony of how in his early days, coming into the Lord he wanted to experience Luke 10:1-20. So he along with a colleague from his Bible College took one way tickets to a place with the only money they had in their pocket. On reaching there they had to sleep on the station and go hungry without food for a couple of days but soon things started to change and the Lord used them so mightily that they baptised about 140 people within the few days they were on this mission. He gave a beautiful revelation 'Manna fell only in the desert not in the towns or cities the Israelite lived, when we make our provision God does not provide but when we depend on Him, He provides'.
In today's message Jesus was at a situation wherein He had accepted the cup from the Father. This cup was not a cup of suffering, for Jesus knew from childhood He had to suffer and what that suffering would be from His study of scriptures and by the Spirit of God ministering to Him. What made Him hesitate to take the cup when the time came was He knew when He drank of the cup (accepted it) it would separate Him from His Father in other words the Father would forsake Him for the sins of the world would be on Him. The suffering did not bother Him but being separated from the Father for even a little while was too much for Him. This fact shook me when I understood this, Jesus cried bitterly when our sins separated Him from His Father but we do not shed a tear when our own sins separate us (take us far) from our Father, we do not fear or blink an eyelid when we commit sin. We have taken the grace of the Lord too much for granted.
Jesus protected His disciples in the Father's Name the Name the Father gave Him. This Name did not mean a Hebrew or Greek or Aramaic word or a tag or a title but meant who He was, His identity, his Nature. When Jesus had taken the cup He knew He would be separated from His disciples and during that time He was worried of them. He knew from the prophecies given before that they would desert Him and thus would be open to problems and dangers of this world.
If we read the words minutely Jesus talks to two areas one provision and other protection (purse and sword). These two areas are also the most important areas every Ministry thinks of in their work in the Lord. When we do not abide in the instructions of the Lord we land up struggling in these areas. It is no surprise we see great anointed Men of God, blessed greatly with spiritual gifts from the Lord yet manipulate financial systems so as to provide for their selves and their Ministries, they also keep private bodyguards or use police protection to protect them all because they use worldly understanding along with that of the Kingdom of God, worldly wisdom along with spiritual wisdom. They quote the wisdom Solomon but fail to see that wisdom did not keep Solomon from worshiping worldly goddesses.
In today's message the Lord is opening our eyes to the fact He provided Manna to millions of people for 40 years in the desert and never let them go hungry. Jesus had money in the money bag the two times when the thousands surrounded Him and were hungry. He would have used that money and provided at least a bite to each but He dared to trust His Father totally and landed giving each person there his or her stomach full.
God is tell us dare to abide in His ways according to His Kingdom not according to worldly systems or worldly ways and doing this see His glory - His provision and His protection else like today's message organize our own finance and protection using our worldly wisdom.
[ Prayer Starter ]
Lord, we pray that your servants, your labourers who work in your Vineyard remove the yeast of the world from their thinking and their ways and dare to walk totally according to your Kingdom and thus see your glory...
This prayer we make in Jesus' Name, Amen.
[ Reference ]
John 17:12 [ASV] - While I was with them, I kept them in thy name which thou hast given me: and I guarded them, and not one of them perished, but the son of perdition; that the scripture might be fulfilled.
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