5) Jesus Gave License to Defend Against Violent Aggression (With Weapons)
In Luke chapter 22, Jesus is talking to the Twelve at a Passover gathering which has been come to be known as “the last supper.” Among the many things he imparts to them during this time is that they should prepare themselves for what is to come (He will soon be gone from them, marking the beginning of their ultimate journey — taking the Gospel to the nations), and will need provision.
“[Jesus] said to them, “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.”
Whatever your interpretation of this passage, there are a few broad-stroke observations we can make about it.
1) Jesus expected them to have swords and anticipated a time when those without swords would need to acquire them.
2) Among eleven disciples, they already had two swords–in almost a 1:5 ratio.
3) Jesus expected them to carry the swords on their person as they traveled from the city to the garden prayer meeting.
It is difficult to make absolute claims beyond these observations, but the observations themselves have significance. Namely, among those closest to Jesus, some carried personal weapons in His presence with His consent to communion and to prayer meetings. We cannot make absolute claims as to the reasons, right or, wrong, for the carriage of these weapons. Perhaps it was in anticipation of trouble from the Jewish leadership. Perhaps it was protection against mere robbers. Paul in 2 Cor. 11:26 cites the “perils of robbers”. Though there are questions we can’t answer, we do know they possessed these weapons, that they carried these weapons, and that Jesus knew and consented. Furthermore, Jesus spoke of some time, present or future, when disciples would need to acquire personal weapons, even more urgently than garments.