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Prepared for opposition!
Did you know that Jesus told His followers "if you don't have a sword, sell your cloak and buy one"?
Did you think it was easy to be a follower of Jesus?
Have you ever thought of what it must have been like to be one of the original disciples of Jesus Christ? They went around with Him and listened to His teaching and saw Him perform miracles. Then Jesus sent them out without purse, bag or sandals and gave them authority to preach and to heal the sick!
When they returned He asked them, "Did you lack anything?" "Nothing," they answered.
It must have been exciting being one of those disciples!
Jesus knew that the popularity that He and His disciples had had for a short while was not going to last much longer!
Being the Son of God, Jesus didn't have to wait until things changed to know what was coming. The all-knowing God knows every detail of the future! God's message through the prophets hundreds of years earlier had even told that the Messiah would suffer! "This is what is written: The Christ will suffer and rise from the dead on the third day, and repentance and forgiveness of sins will be preached in His name to all nations, beginning at Jerusalem." His faithful followers would preach that people must put their trust in Jesus alone as their only Saviour.
Jesus now told His disciples, "What is written about Me is reaching its fulfilment."
His popularity with the crowds was about to end! Jesus knew to expect fierce opposition and suffering and death for Himself and His followers! 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."
From Jesus' teachings we know that He did NOT mean He would be wanting them to defend Him, or to use force to get people to submit to His message.
Nor was Jesus wanting His followers to live by the sword - to dominate and control people's lives by force, or to have an armed uprising. Jesus never used those tactics Himself, and He wouldn't want His followers to either.
The disciples said, "See, Lord, here are two swords." "That is enough," He replied.
By telling His followers to be equipped with a sword Jesus was warning them to expect fierce opposition and hardship in their service for Him. "In fact," the Bible says, "everyone who wants to live a godly life in Christ Jesus will be persecuted."
Even as Jesus spoke with His disciples the religious leaders were waiting their opportunity to destroy Jesus. They knew that if the people were to repent - to turn from them to Jesus - and to believe in Jesus for the forgiveness of their sins,
then their words and actions would be known to be empty and powerless! For this reason all those who have preached the true message of Jesus down through the ages have been despised and rejected and bitterly opposed by religious leaders.
In Luke chapter 22, verses 35-38 you can read of Jesus teaching His disciples to be prepared for opposition.
Thank you for opening and reading this "Good News Compage". E-mail John at
if you have any questions.
There will be a different message next week as we continue to browse through Luke's Gospel in the Holy Bible. Make Good News Compage one of your favourites and open it up each week for the updated message.
To read more of Luke's account of the life of Jesus turn to the Gospel of Luke in the Holy Bible.
Bye for now,
John Nixon, Ballincollig, Co.Cork, Ireland.
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Bible quotations from N.I.V.
1 Luke 22:36. 2 Luke 10:8-9. 3 Luke 22:35. 4 Luke 24:46-48. Acts 4:12. 5 Luke 22:37. 6 Luke 22:51. Matthew 26:52-53. John 18:36. 7 Matthew 26:52. 8 Luke 22:38. 9 2nd Timothy 3:12. 10 Acts 20:21. 26:20. 5:31.