Monday, April 09, 2007



This is a short passage here in Luke 22:35-38, but it is filled with a practical insight for us today. Earlier in the writings of Luke Jesus tells the disciples not to take along a purse, a bag or sandals. In other words, “Don’t worry about taking these provisions along with you while on your mission.”

I can’t tell you how many times I’ve heard on “Christian” radio a variety of preachers say that you don’t need to worry about your wallet or coat or sandals and that is what God requires to be working most effectively for Him. There are even preachers that say to their audiences to not even pay their bills, but to give that money to God and God will pay those bills.

The problem with this approach is the same problem that many have in teaching a balance in the Scriptures. People tend to not read far enough. When you read further in the text, you will always find the balance and the truth of it all. When you stop too soon, you will always have an imbalanced perspective on whatever the subject may be,

This is exactly what we have in this paragraph. We have the rest of the story. Jesus did say earlier to His disciples to not worry about taking along their normal provisions. That was because Jesus was walking along with them—eating with them, sleeping with them and ministering alongside them. NOW in this paragraph Jesus is saying that they are about to embark on a new game-plan. Jesus is going to be leaving them and NOW they will need to make provisions for themselves. Just as it was the right thing to not be concerned with those everyday provisions when Jesus was with them; it is NOW the right thing to make sure you take along your provisions. He even suggests that the disciples protect themselves by carrying a sword. Let’s check it out:

Then Jesus asked them, "When I sent you without purse, bag or sandals, did you lack anything?" "Nothing," they answered. He 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. 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 fulfillment." The disciples said, "See, Lord, here are two swords." 
"That is enough," he replied.

So, what’s this saying to us today? I think the basic thing that is needed for disciples today is a good dose of common sense. While Jesus was traveling with the disciples there was no need to be concerned about the basic needs of life. But the times were about to change dramatically. For us there may be times when needs are met without much concern at all and there are times that you must work very hard to make things work. In either case, your preparation is necessary. Here’s the principle: The Lord gave you five senses plus “horse” and “common”, therefore use them all in living your life for Jesus. It’s a real partnership. You do the possible by faith that God will do the impossible.