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Luke 9:3

Apr 16 2018

If you've been around the religious right subculture, undoubtedly you've heard a passage in Luke 22 used to justify unlimited access to guns in contemporary America. This passage includes these instructions from Jesus to his disciples: "If you don't have a sword, buy one." The reasoning, we're told goes like this: Jesus wanted his disciples to have swords. Swords were the most powerful weapons an individual could own in the first century, which equates with AK47s in today's world. Therefore, Jesus wants us to have AK47s. While this line of thought connects dots that I don't believe were ever meant to be connected, let's suppose it's correct.

These instructions come after the disciples had followed Jesus for years. Early in their discipleship, he gave these instructions: "Take nothing for the journey--no staff, no bag, no bread, no money, no extra shirt." Luke 9:3. No mention of any weapons in these instructions. "Take nothing," he said. For two and a half to three years... There's only one reasonable theological conclusion. Jesus believed in waiting periods before buying weapons. Really, really long waiting periods.

Furthermore, this command to carry swords was given only to the 12 Apostles. 12 guys he hand picked and gotten to know very, very well. Hundreds of people were following Him, but only12 were ever instructed to be armed. Not Nicodemus. Not Bartimaeus. Not Mary Magdalene. Not even Mother Mary. Only 12 out of hundreds. Obviously, Jesus believed in extremely tough and thorough background checks before one should own a weapon.

I want to be clear that these 'scriptural conclusions' I'm drawing are just as sketchy as the religious rights' conclusions about the Luke passage being a free pass to unlimited weapon possession. I'm being sarcastic.

To read a very interesting take on this topic (and less sarcastic) check out the following article:

https://holyspiritactivism.com/2013/01/18/why-did-jesus-tell-the-disciples-to-buy-two-swords/

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