On the night in which he was betrayed, Jesus issued to his followers a number of directives. One of those commands was for each to arm himself forthwith, even at the cost of economic sacrifice. The instructions reflect the fact that thenceforth the disciples would be operating independently, rather than as a group with Jesus as their constant companion, supplier, and guardian. Nevertheless, the imperative to bear a sword is troubling to many who claim to be followers of the Christ. Some teachers and commentators simply dismiss the command, thus displaying their contempt for Jesus and the Scripture. Others, in confusion, point to the Sermon on the Mount, thinking the command to acquire a sword to be in conflict with the teaching of the Sermon. But when the respective passages are considered carefully in context, the difficulties disappear, and the need for the Christian to be armed becomes clear.
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