photo64Luke 22 verse 37 It is written “And he was numbered with the transgressors, and I tell you that this must be fulfilled in me, Yes, what is written about me is reaching its fulfilment.”

The journey of Jesus Christ is nearing its end. He has told his disciples that he was to be betrayed into the hands of his enemies. They must have wondered what all of this meant and what would happen to them as they tried to continue this ministry of the good News, after he was gone i.e. if they could think in terms of him being gone. Up to now Jesus had provided for them, but what about the future.

In verse 35 Jesus reminds them that when he had sent them out previously, they had lacked nothing even though he had expressly told them that they should not take money or provisions with them. (Luke 9 verses 1 – 6 and 10 verses 1 – 7) The idea behind that is that they were the king’s messengers to Israel first, and the people who were being ministered to, should provide for those who brought the good news. But it was not going to be like that in the future. They would have to pay their own way with no help from the Jews or the unconverted. Believers would have to support believers. What would bring about the change?

The answer is in verse 37. “It is written; “And he was numbered with the transgressors, and I tell you this must be fulfilled in me. Yes what is written about me is reaching fulfilment.” In other words, he would become despised and rejected; he would be killed as a common criminal, although his enemies could not bring one charge against him. He would be treated as a “transgressor” and therefore those who were associated with him would be shunned. This is how it would be in the years to come as his disciples took the message to various parts of the known world.

The reference in verse 36, to buying a sword has puzzled many. But the answer is simple. Jesus was speaking metaphorically – not literally. He was referring to the courage they would need for the future. Christianity does not conquer by the sword, in stark contrast to other religions and when so called Christian armies did take up and use the sword in the name of Christ they were aberrant and mistaken. The area God seeks to conquer is not physical territory but rather the inner person – the mind. And to do that a message, a word is needed. Thus the word of the Gospel when illustrated by the Spirit of God is the “sword” God uses.

But the disciples, of course, don’t get it. They produce two swords (verse 38) Jesus swiftly brings that conversation to a close with the words “That is enough”. His mind was full of the fact that all that was written about him was about to reach its fulfilment. The Cross awaited him. The future for the disciples would not be easy – but the word of the Gospel would conquer and there would be no need of swords. God’s word is above all things – even the power of the sword!