Jesus Being Ironical

28 Jun

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While they were in the state of unbelief, Jesus asked his Apostles, when they went out with the Seventy (Luke 22:35; cf. 10:4) and enjoyed the success of their labor, did they lack anything, and, of course, they replied they lacked nothing. In other words, while in the state of belief, they lacked nothing. God was with them, and they enjoyed success in everything they did in the service of the Kingdom of God (cf. Luke 10:17). However, now that they were in the state of unbelief, Jesus said they needed to do the opposite of what he had commanded them in Luke 10:4. In other words, they needed to take their purses and their scrips (shepherd bags), because, while in the state of unbelief they could not expect the provision of God. In fact, if they had no swords, they would now need to sell even their garment to buy one, because without faith they couldn’t expect the protection of God (Luke 22:36).

Faith cannot be exercised in the state of unbelief. Therefore, Jesus changed his command from believing (Luke 10:4) to a command to rely upon the flesh (Luke 22:36). The Apostles, all of them, couldn’t believe what Jesus was telling them. They weren’t simply confused, like they were at other times, when they would discuss a matter among themselves and perhaps later ask the Lord what he meant. On the contrary, here, at the table of the Lord, they concluded they understood what Jesus said, but they adamantly refused to believe his very clear statement from the scriptures. In other words, they were believing what Satan was whispering in their ears, and they decided for themselves what was true and what was not (cf. Genesis 3:1, 6). While refusing the fruit of the Tree of Life, they offered Jesus their understanding of the truth from the Tree of Knowledge (Matthew 26:33-35), but he wouldn’t partake of the fruit they offered (cf. Genesis 3:6).

Yet again, Jesus quoted scripture (Luke 22:37). Speaking from Isaiah 53:12, he said he would be reckoned among the transgressors. His own disciples had become transgressors, in that they were now ready to rebel from God’s legitimate authorities, the Pharisees and the high priests (cf. Matthew 23:1-3). God’s protection cannot be enjoyed, if we are in the state of rebellion and unbelief. Therefore, Jesus told his disciples to buy swords if they didn’t have any, and, in doing so, their intentions and hopes would be complete.

Moreover, it is very interesting to understand that, while in the state of unbelief, the Apostles couldn’t see that Jesus was speaking to them ironically (Luke 22:38). They actually thought he wanted them to buy and use their swords. When they showed him their sword, Jesus simply said it would be enough for the task, because the things spoken of him had an end (Luke 22:38). Think about it. Jesus said two swords would be enough, but enough for what (Luke 22:49-50)? I suspect it was enough to get them into trouble, but not enough to get them out. Although a revolution or rebellion could be ignited with something like two swords, certainly two swords could not be enough to gain victory in a rebellion.

Nevertheless, the disciples were ready to use the swords against the legitimate, God appointed, authorities (cf. Matthew 23:2) who later came to arrest Jesus (cf. Luke 22:49). The two swords really were enough and probably necessary to get Jesus arrested under a legitimate charge. The Apostles were in the state of rebellion by both threatening the legitimate authorities with their swords (Luke 22:49) and in using their swords against those authorities (Luke 22:50). Therefore, it could now be legitimately said of the Lord that he was numbered with (kept company with) the transgressors (cf. Isaiah 53:12).


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Posted by on June 28, 2018 in Gospel of Luke


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