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Do Luke 9:3 and Luke 22:36 Contradict Each Other?



Is there a contradiction between Luke 9:3 and Luke 22:36?  The basic explanation is that the mission of the inner circle of His disciples was different shortly before Jesus died compared to earlier in His ministry.

 

Not long after Jesus began His public ministry, He sent out His twelve disciples to evangelize with a set of instructions that required them to have faith.  They couldn't take money, bread, or extra clothes with them, but had to preach the gospel in villages.  However, they would be given miraculous power to cast out demons and to heal people.  (See generally Luke 9:1-10).  Then that specific mission ended.  It didn't produce a set of directions that were to last forever, but were intended for a set period of time.

 

However, shortly before Jesus was crucified, another priority arose.  He needed to fulfill prophecy.  In order to "numbered with transgressors," i.e., to look like supposedly dangerous lawbreakers (Matt. 26:55-56), Jesus became satisfied after learning that His disciples had two swords on hand (Luke 22:38).  Notice that He forbade their actual use (Luke 22:49-51; Matt. 26:51-53).  The context of the preceding two verses (Luke 22:36-37) is important to consider, in which explains how He and His disciples would fulfill Isaiah 53:12:  "Let him who has no sword sell his robe and buy one.  For I tell you, that this which is written must be fulfilled in Me, 'And He was numbered with transgressors'; for that which refers to Me has its fulfillment."  Jesus' disciples then replied, "Lord, look, here are two swords," causing Jesus to respond, "It is enough," i.e., enough to look like a criminal gang even though they actually weren't, thus playing the part prophecy had assigned Him and them.  

 

So Luke 9:3 and Luke 22:36 can be easily reconciled by considering the different directions that Jesus gave to His disciples because He had different immediate goals for them at different times. Much like a foreman on a construction site wouldn't contradict himself by telling workers to shift from using one set of tools or piece of equipment to another over a day or week, Jesus told the disciples to serve God in different ways at different times. 


Eric V. Snow

www.lionofjudah1.org

 


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