in Jesus' life, often cited to justify violence, include this one:(Luke
22:36) He said to them, And let him who has no sword sell his mantle and buy one.
For I tell you . . .
From one site we read that Martin
Luther drew a distinction between violence in self defense against
criminals and enemies of
the state, on one hand, and religious persecutors on the other. Luke 22:36 is cited. Then from another
site we hear that it was all a misunderstanding. Jesus meant
to take up spiritual swords, not swords of steel. We quote:He
is not telling them to buy swords to wield in physical battle. They will
have to provide for themselves and fend for themselves, but not through the
shedding of blood. They are being drawn into a great cosmic struggle, and
they must fight with spiritual swords . . ..
John Paul II writes in a related document : Certainly, the intrinsic
value of life and the duty to love oneself no less than others are the
basis of true right to self defense.
swords? How is one to buy such a sword (as Jesus instructs here)?
Or, how is one to put it in its place as (Jesus later commanded)?
This idea (from column #1) is ludricous.
Martin Luther distinguished between defending
oneself against relligious persecution and against criminals. He wrote,
[if I was attacked by
robbers] I should . . . wield the sword, because
no one else would be near to protect me. I should strike as many
dead as I could and thereupon receive the Sacrament and should
consider myself to have done a good work. But if I were
attacked as a preacher for the sake of the Gospel, I should
fold my hands and say, Well, my Christ, here I am. I have
If my time has come, I commit myself into your hands..
And thus I should die" (Plass, p. 243, WT-4, 4342, WT-2,1815). The
site then refrences Luke 22:36. Again, ludicrous! Jesus never taught this
distinction and Luke 22:36 has no such idea. This man was
deaf to Jesus.
For I tell you that this scripture
must be fulfilled in me, `he was reckoned with transgressors'; for what
is written about me has its fulfilment.' And they said, Look Lord, here are two swords. And
he said to them, It is enough. (Luke
Two swords are enough for what? He explained: it was
to fulfill scripture. Two will reckon him with
transgressors. (Isaiah 53:12)
But when one of them wielded his sword, Jesus said, No more of this! (Lk.22:51) For
defense or any cause? No more of this!
He then explained:Put your sword back into its place;
for all who take the sword will perish by the sword. (Matt.26:52) Perish means spiritual death (as in John 3:16), not physical, for.all who take the sword
do not get killed by the sword.The thought is absurd -- see all the aging
vets? So, all who take the sword will perish
by the sword. It is the sentence
of eternal death. There is but
one remedy: that whoever believes in him should not perish
but have eternal life. Read more.