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Chapter Three

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1 Chapter Three on Wed Aug 29, 2012 10:27 am

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Chapter Three


THE SWORD OF PETER




Luke 22
35And he said unto them, When I sent you without purse, and scrip, and shoes, lacked ye any thing? And they said, Nothing.
36Then said he unto them, But now, he that hath a purse, let him take it, and likewise his scrip: and he that hath no sword, let him sell his garment, and buy one.
37For I say unto you, that this that is written must yet be accomplished in me, And he was reckoned among the transgressors: for the things concerning me have an end.
38And they said, Lord, behold, here are two swords. And he said unto them, It is enough.

There is a passage everyone in church is fully aware of in scripture where Peter took his sword and cut off the ear of some guy. It gets a lot of air time in all the Easter plays every April. But there is a ton of symbolism oozing all through this unfolding drama. I want to point out just a couple things leading up to it. First, these words in Luke 22 are just minutes before it all falls apart for the disciples. Jesus is lovingly giving them a few last minute instructions before the unspeakable pain and suffering begins.

What strikes me here is His apparent intensity about the importance of them getting swords. So much so that when He sent them out in ministry, He sent them with next to nothing and in that ministry, they were in want of nothing. But now, they were to take whatever they owned and purchase a sword. It is this sword that I believe is the actual focal point throughout the rest of the story.

We get all caught up in the adrenaline of evil overcoming good as we see one of Jesus’ closest friends turn Him in for the bounty. But we miss the message that lies beneath. What does scripture say the sword is? Read Ephesians 6 where, interestingly enough, it’s speaking of the weapons of warfare. The sword is the word of God. It’s the message of the kingdom. It’s the eternal light shining in the darkness of our understanding. It’s the illuminator of truth. I could go on all day.

So Jesus is telling them to sell whatever it takes to purchase a sword for themselves. And their response was “we have two.” Now think about the math here for a minute. There are 12 of them, or eleven at this point, and only 2 swords. What exactly are the other 9 going to do? Are the two with the two swords going to fend off the armies or whoever it is they’re going to need the swords for in the first place? And protect Jesus and the other nine? Something is out of place with this.

Why would Jesus in one breath tell them to sell whatever they can to buy a sword, and at the same time tell them, having two swords is sufficient for all eleven of them? And then, when the moment has arrived, Judas shows up, the guards create a ruckus, and Peter steps out in front and starts swinging.

And it’s here I find another interesting turn of events that just seems a bit odd. We’ve got a bunch of guards charging in with their weapons and lanterns with bad intentions. We’ve got Jesus on the other end of the spectrum knowing this was the purpose of His coming into the flesh in the first place, and in the middle stands the disciples, or at least one of them. As Peter’s sword takes a deathly downward plunge, it’s not even a guard or soldier that takes the blade. It’s a servant.

Some poor soul who was in the wrong place at the wrong time. Does this make sense to you? Is it just a coincidence? I don’t think so. I think it’s the language of God speaking volumes to us even through the last selfish act of a disciple in Judas. God is still speaking to the bride. This wasn’t just any servant that Peter was taking a swing at, he was a servant of the high priest.

So here are the players involved, we have a greedy disciple, we have a representative of the Old Covenant system in the servant of the high priest, and we have a defensive disciple who is a representative of the New Covenant. But there’s still something terribly wrong with the picture because the moment Peter uses the very same sword that Jesus was so adamant about them obtaining, the moment he brandishes it, he’s immediately rebuked by Jesus and demanded to put his sword away.

If Peter was not supposed to use his sword, then what was the big deal about him going out and getting one? Let’s put some of this together now. On the one side, you have the religious right wingers who believe every written word of the Bible is to be emphasized and enforced to the letter. To the point that they actually kill the very source that brings them life. And they also set out to kill what they perceive to be false doctrines and teachings of anyone who has a difference of opinion when it comes to spiritual matters.

On the other side, you have a newborn whose heart is bigger than his head as he takes the word of God and assumes a stance of battle with it. The result is, the abused word becomes the weapon that deafens anyone within reach of it because no one really has a clue as to how it’s really suppose to be applied. One side denies Jesus was the Word, the other side places itself above the Word and acts as its defender.

Jesus needs no defense. We don’t need to quote scriptures at each other in order to prove our doctrines and beliefs are true and our neighbors are false. There should be no lines drawn in the sand or boundaries set for people to use to separate themselves from each other by identifying themselves with one organization over another. The sword is not a weapon for defense or for battle. It’s supposed to be used within us to separate spirit from flesh. It’s for me to apply to my inner self. Not for me to stand on a pulpit and preach to everyone else.

The message Jesus left with Peter, I declare to the church. PUT AWAY YOUR SWORD. Don’t you know that if you choose to live by its literal implications, that you’ll die by them? That’s not a good thing either. There is a death that is necessary and good, but living life by the sword is not it. I challenge you to lay your Bibles down and just begin building relationships with people.

If you’ve been in church for any length of time, let me speak to you specifically when I say, you’re not to make friends with someone with a hidden agenda of saving them. Just lay your doctrines down and become a relationship builder. Jesus didn’t come to reinforce a doctrine, or to rebuild a new one. He came to redeem the broken relationship of man back to God again. It’s about relationships, not religion. In fact, I believe God is going to tear the church down so that he can rebuild it himself.

The Bible is not to be your defensive weapon against other people. It’s to affirm with the word already written in your heart. The moment you begin warfare with it, you’re already deafening those you truly wish to witness to. It’s not about what you know, it’s about what you experience in Christ. There’s a huge difference. When it speaks of the two swords being sufficient, for me, that’s the two Covenants becoming one power. A double-edged sword in the witness of two is a picture of word and flesh, Son and Spirit, law and prophets, Old Covenant and New Covenant. It’s a picture of spiritual balance. One compliments the other, not contradicts.

I believe the emphasis in the church is changing from not just religion to relationship, but also from ministering in labor, to manifesting in rest. And most importantly, from pursuing the moral content of the Word, to pursuing the spiritual intent of the Word. Seeing things spiritually results in a completely different perspective in doctrine, in living, and in worship. There are so many things that change through the metamorphous of maturity of the bride when she grows from a warfare mindset to a plowshare lifestyle.

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