The events leading up to Jesus’ declaration included the Last Supper; Jesus’ prophecy that Peter would deny Him; an explanation that things were now changing. Jesus declared, “‘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… The disciples said, ‘See, Lord, here are two swords.’ ‘That is enough!’ he replied.” Luke 22:36, 38.
Afterward, Jesus and His disciples went to the Garden of Gethsemane. Then “when Jesus’ followers saw what was going to happen (Judas was betraying Jesus and the soldiers were about to arrest Him) they said, ‘Lord, should we strike with our swords?’ And one of them struck the servant of the high priest, cutting off his right ear. But Jesus answered, ‘No more of this!’ And he touched the man’s ear and healed him.” Luke 22:49-51 (NIV)
“‘Put your sword back in its place,’ Jesus said to him, ‘for all who draw the sword will die by the sword. Do you think I cannot call on my Father, and he will at once put at my service more than twelve legions of angels? But how then would the Scriptures be fulfilled that say it must happen in this way?… But this has all taken place that the writings of the prophets might be fulfilled.’ Then all the disciples deserted him and fled.” Matthew 26:52-56 (NIV).
Throughout Jesus’ ministry, He was preparing His disciples for His crucifixion and for leadership in the church. Prior to His arrest, He asked His disciples if they had a sword. He knew His disciples would try to defend Him, and He was teaching that God foreknows all things. Even if He, Jesus, and subsequently His followers were to experience violence, they should not respond with violence. God’s principles must always be upheld.
Jesus said, “But to you who are listening I say: Love your enemies, do good to those who hate you, bless those who curse you, pray for those who mistreat you,” Luke 6:27-28 (NIV) Let us also obey Jesus’ commands.