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Jesus endorses basic provision and protection

Story of Sergei the Romanian Pastor and his karate brother when attacked!


Isn’t it great to have AWANA back meeting?

Do you know what AWANA stands for?

AWANA stands for Approved Workman Are Not Ashamed!

Be diligent to present yourself to God, a worker who does not need to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth.      -2 Timothy 2:15

When we speak of rightly dividing the Word of truth, we especially think of how to understand a Bible verse within the context of the book it is in and the section of the Bible it is in.

Different sections of the Bible cover things that happened in different ages.

Starting with Creation in Genesis 1:1 the Bible goes through several past ages to the days of Jesus and the gospels, instructions on living in this present church age,  and describes the ages to come all the way to the Final Amen!

There were three pre-Israel ages:

There was the age of innocence that ended when Adam and Eve fell into the sin; There was the age of conscience that ended with the flood; There was the age between the flood and the tower of Babel.

Then in Genesis 12 God called Abraham and the age of promise began, followed by Israel living under the Mosaic Law, waiting for the promised Messiah to come.

Then there was that glorious time the Messiah did come to earth the first time, loving, teaching, working miracles, dying on the cross for the sins of the world. Then the church age began, the age of grace in which we now live!

After the rapture of the church happens, there will be ages to come: a seven year time of tribulation followed by Christ’s return and His thousand year reign on earth, followed by the Great White Throne Judgment and the New Earth to come.

In each age people were, are, and will be saved by trusting in God and His Messiah. Each age also has commands to be obeyed and promises to be claimed. Some of these continue into the next age, others are discontinued. All Scripture is given to teach us, but we must ‘rightly divide it’ to avoid mistakes in belief in practice.

All that will help us with today’s passage in Luke’s gospel!

Read Luke 22:35-38          

Jesus endorses basic provision and protection         Let’s Pray!

I was asked by a wonderful church member named Joe to address what the Bible says about owning arms for protection. Here’s the answer, Joe, right from Luke!

This is Jesus’ last teaching before going to the garden to pray!

Heaven miraculously provided for the disciples when Jesus was here            V. 35

And Jesus said to them, “When I sent you without money bag, knapsack, and sandals, did you lack anything?” So they said, nothing!

Jesus sent His disciples out on two short-term trips recorded in Matthew 10, when He sent out the twelve, and Luke 10, when he sent out the 70.

Read Matthew 10:5-10               

They had seen God provide miraculously on those short trips!

He sovereignly met their needs on that short term trip!  

Is that the way we are called to live?

Francis of Assisi thought so based on these verses!

Later George Mueller may have been thinking of these verses as he ran his orphanages in England – and saw God miraculously provide.

But our question is “are we called to do the same?”

Jesus’ next words speak to that

Disciples are expected to provide for themselves going forward                      V. 36

Then He said to them, “But now…”                  Underline or circle or star that!

There was a temporary then, there is a from now on…

Jesus was saying to them…

Verse 35 is what you did when I walked physically with you, but that is not what I am commanding you to do in the coming church age when I am with you spiritually, before I return to you physically. Verse 36 is what you will do.

Look again at verse 36

Then He said to them, “But now, he who has a money bag, let him take it, and likewise a knapsack; and he who has no sword, let him sell his garment and buy one.”

Jesus endorses basic provision in the first part of verse 36, and basic protection in the second part of verse 36!

Now instead of relying on the supernatural protection they had while He was physically on earth, they and we would use normal means to provide for our basic support and protection.

Don’t use Matthew 10 and Luke 10 as your fundraising and protection strategy – that was for when Christ sent THOSE disciples out on that limited time only trip.

What do the moneybag and the knapsack look like today?

Prayerful planning and making sure you have enough provision as you serve Jesus.

Thinking about how much money it will take, and what we need to put in that knapsack!

The apostles modeled coordinating with churches planning to meet financial needs of missionaries and to help in times of crisis.

We should think in advance about what it will take to achieve what we want to for Jesus and plan and budget accordingly, all the while trusting God by faith, because there will still be plenty of need to live by faith!

What does the sword looks like today?

It means basic protection and defense is okay as you serve Jesus.

In the Roman Empire as they would travel from place to place many people would take along arms to discourage robbers and bandits that infested the roads.

These were short, dagger like instruments – more like knives than swords.

When a robber jumped out and said, “give me your money or I will draw my knife on you,” they could answer, “Oh, you mean a knife like this, that I could use on you also? Let’s talk about how you need Jesus instead!”

Of course these knives also had practical uses in killing game and preparing it to eat. And there are other useful uses for swords and guns – like hunting and preparing food.

But here Jesus endorses the idea of basic protection for yourself and your family as you are going through life serving Jesus.

Turn the other cheek does not mean standing by while other people hurt your family, friends, neighbors.

That wouldn’t be spiritual it would be cowardly!

What the sword does not mean today:

This is not an approval of aggression

Jesus was not giving approval of aggression to advance the gospel (Crusades)

Jesus makes that clear when he rebukes Peter

Contrast with Islam’s call for Jihad.

This is not a call to take on the appropriate authorities

Paul makes that clear in Romans 13:1-7 and I Peter 2:13-17

For he (the authority) is God’s minister to you for good. But if you do evil, be afraid; for he does not bear the sword in vain; for he is God’s minister, an avenger to execute wrath on him who practices evil.      -Romans 13:4

We need to appreciate our God given authorities, and be known as great citizens

This is not a call to reject serving in military or police 

The New Testament never condemns armed service for Christians

In fact, one of Jesus’ favorite guys was a Roman Centurion, who oversaw a hundred men (Luke 7).

It does say that if you serve in those as a follower of God’s ways, your relationship with God will show up in how you dispatch your duties

Likewise the soldiers asked him (John the Baptist), saying, “And what should we do?” So he said to them, “Do not intimidate anyone or accuse falsely, and be content with your wages.”              -Luke 3:14

I am so glad in America we have our second amendment right to keep and bear arms, a right that helps safeguard our first amendment rights!

I think we are right to push back against infringements of those rights.

Many of the best intentioned antigun laws don’t take into account the wickedness of the heart.

The only thing declaring something a gun free zone will do is ensure when evildoers bring their guns there to do harm, there won’t be good guys with guns there ready to stop them.  

“You had better pack your suitcase and get your traveler’s checks if you are going out for the Lord today and give out the gospel. You had better be prepared to protect yourself and your loved ones. We are living in difficult days. The Lord said, “He that hath no sword, let him sell his garment and buy one.” Why? For self-protection, of course. They were living in days that required a sword. We need to recognize that fact also. If we do not resist evil today, all kinds of evil will befall us. We could end up in the hospital or have some of our loved ones slain.”                        -J. Vernon McGee


Jesus refocuses them on the cross                                                                  V. 37

For I say to you that this which is written must still be accomplished in Me: ‘And He was numbered with the transgressors.’ For the things concerning Me have an end.

What meaningful words there!

What Jesus is focused in on – His saving work 

He poured out His soul unto death, and He was numbered with the transgressors, And He bore the sin of many, and made intercession for the transgressors.              Isaiah 53:12b

This is a good time for us to repeat our affirmation in this part of Luke:

Then He said to them, “Thus it is written, and thus it was necessary for the Christ to suffer and to rise from the dead the third day, and that repentance and forgiveness of sins should be preached in His name to all nations, beginning at Jerusalem.”              -Luke 24:46-47

Jesus said, “This present age that I have been with you ends with My death, resurrection and ascension. The church age is about to begin. The day of me physically ruling on earth will come in due time. Take care of yourselves – but be My witnesses.”

Turn to Acts 1:6-8

Final exchange on being armed – don’t over-do it!                       V. 38

So they said, “Lord, look, here are two swords.” And He said to them, “It is enough.”

Sounds to me like He was saying, that will do!

Protection itself should not be an obsession that takes our focus off of our primary mission as Christians.

A dozen men travelling together?

Two swords will be enough to take care of self-defense along the way.

Definitely not enough for an armed rebellion against Rome, though!

Jesus’ words about my kingdom –

Jesus answered, “My kingdom is not of this world. If My kingdom were of this world, My servants would fight, so that I should not be delivered to the Jews; but now My kingdom is not from here.”            -John 18:26

To sum up:

Don’t be paranoid, do be proactive, but as in other things, don’t over-do it!

You do not need to overdo this thing and make your home an armed garrison, but you do need to protect yourself.                    -J. Vernon McGee

It parallels the call for self-control in other areas.

You want to buy rum to make a rum cake, that’s great. You start getting drunk on that rum, you become a fruitcake!

You eat to live, to be sure, if you live to eat, you will overdo it and have other health problems!

But make sure your trust is in Christ and His mission for your life!

Jesus had endorsed them having basic provision and protection, now He gets on to finishing His mission, and theirs was about to begin! That mission is still our focus today!  

Let’s Pray!