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The Scriptorium

Be Prepared

It's a tough world out there. Luke 22.35-38

Luke 22 (2) (1)

Pray Psalm 25.1-5.
To You, O LORD, I lift up my soul.
O my God, I trust in You;
Let me not be ashamed;
Let not my enemies triumph over me.
Indeed, let no one who waits on You be ashamed;
Let those be ashamed who deal treacherously without cause.
Show me Your ways, O LORD;
Teach me Your paths.
Lead me in Your truth and teach me,
For You are the God of my salvation;
On You I wait all the day.

Sing Psalm 25.1-5.
(Festal Song: Rise Up, O Men of God)
I lift my soul to You; O Lord, in You I trust.
Let me not come to shame, nor let my foes o’er me exult.

All they who wait on You shall never come to shame.
Yet they to shame shall come who stand against Your holy Name.

Make me to know Your ways, teach me Your paths, O Lord!
My Savior, all day long I wait and seek You in Your Word.

Read Luke 22.1-38; meditate on verses 35-38.

1. What did Jesus ask the disciples?

2. What instruction did He give them?

Jesus has not changed His mind about us carrying out our appointed work. Previously, He instructed His disciples to “Take nothing for the journey, neither staffs nor bag nor bread nor money; and do not have two tunics apiece” (Lk. 9.3). This He did to show them that He would provide for their needs, which He did through the people who housed and fed them during their first mission.

That hasn’t changed here; Jesus will still provide all their needs. But now He shows that they must prepare for their work as well, making sure they have resources to meet their needs as they are going. They were to understand that He would provide those resources, just as He had before. The only difference here is that the disciples were to gather certain of those resources before they began the work He appointed to them.

I find it curious that of the things Jesus mentioned, the disciples seem only to have heard “sword”: “So they said, ‘Lord, look, here are two swords’” (v. 38). Not two knapsacks or a bag of money, two swords. They’re still in the wrong frame of mind about the Kingdom of God. But Jesus warned them in this instruction to buy a sword. As He would be violently taken and murdered, so they should expect the same (v. 37). There is no sin in bearing the sword for a good cause when evil threatens violence against that cause (cf. Rom. 13.1-5). Above all, however, we must bear and wield the sword of the Spirit to overcome all evil with the Good News of Christ and His Kingdom (cf. Ps. 149.6-9; Rom. 12.21). Make sure you have plenty of that.

Treasures Old and New: Matthew 13.52; Psalm 119.162.
Early on in Jesus’ work with His disciples it was necessary that He show them He is God, and sovereign over everything—even food, clothes, and lodgings. The disciples needed to see the miraculous, they needed proof. But now, after three years of learning life with Jesus, He expected more from them. Now He needed to teach them how to live on their own, filled with His Spirit, Who would arrive after His ascension.

Solomon taught in Proverbs 24.27 how life on a responsible plain should be lived:
“Prepare your outside work, make it fit for yourself in the field; and afterward build your house.”

There is beauty in a life well planned and well lived. Solomon expected it from his citizens. Jesus expected as much from His disciples, and He expects it from us. We are not in the stage where Jesus must prove anything to us about His Lordship, His sovereignty, or His rule over all of life. We know that “All things were made through Him, and without Him nothing was made that was made” (Jn. 1.3). And that “by Him all things were created that are in heaven and that are on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or dominions or principalities or powers. All things were created through Him and for Him. He is before all things, and in Him all things consist” (Col. 1.16, 17).

Jesus was preparing His followers then, and now, for real life in the Kingdom. Personal responsibility is required, and trust in our Savior is paramount. Now though, take some money, pack a knapsack, and think about safety issues because “in this world you will have tribulation”. But most of all, we are to be of good cheer for we know, beyond a shadow of a doubt, that our Savior Jesus Christ, has overcome the world (Jn. 16.33).

Circumstances change. Jesus told us that the earthly things concerning Him would have an end (Lk. 22.37). And indeed, they did. The body that He lived in was crucified, buried, descended into hell, and raised from the dead. He is now in His glorified body at the right hand of His Father in heaven. Some things, though, remain the same. The Triune God is “the same yesterday, today, and forever” (Heb. 13.8). His purpose, His calling, His redemption, His love, His Kingship, and His sovereignty never change. And He “has not changed His mind about us carrying out our appointed work.”

He has spoken. He has saved us. He continues to guide and pray for us. But “Be prepared.”

For reflection
1. How does Jesus expect you to prepare for going into your Personal Mission Field each day?

2. What do you look to Him to provide for you as you go out in His Name and for His Kingdom?

3. It could get a little rough out there serving the Lord. How should you deal with any opposition you may encounter?

[Jesus] does not call them to an outward conflict, but only, under the comparison of fighting, he warns them of the severe struggles of temptations which they must undergo, and of the fierce attacks which they must sustain in spiritual contests. That they might more willingly throw themselves on the providence of God, he first reminded them, as I have said, that God took care to supply them with what was necessary, even when they carried with them no supplies of food and raiment.
John Calvin (1509-1564), Commentary on Luke 22.36, 37

Pray Psalm 25.6-22.

Thank and praise the Lord, Who always meets your needs in Christ Jesus. Call on Him to lead you by His covenant promises, guard you by His angels, and direct your steps by His Word and Spirit as you go into your Personal Mission Field.

Sing Psalm 25.6-22.
(Festal Song: Rise Up, O Men of God)
Remember mercy, Lord, and steadfast love to me!
And all my sins before You let them not remembered be!

My sins have been of old, Your love is new each day.
According to Your goodness, Lord, regard my sinful way.

Upright and good are You, You lead us in Your way.
The humble You instruct in truth and guide him day by day.

The paths of God are all of love and faithfulness.
All they who keep His covenant the Lord will surely bless.

For Your sake, Lord, forgive. All they who fear You, Lord,
shall know Your blessings day by day and follow in Your Word.

Your friends are they who fear and seek Your holy face.
Your covenant with them You share and save them by Your grace.

Be gracious, Lord, to me; my heart is weighed with woe.
My troubles and affliction see; let my transgressions go.

Consider all my foes, who hate me all the day.
And rescue my poor soul lest I should stumble in the way.

Preserve me in Your way, redeem Your people, Lord!
We wait for You and refuge seek in Your own faithful Word.

T. M. and Susie Moore

You can download all the previous studies in our Luke series by clicking here.

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Except as indicated, all Scriptures are taken from the New King James Version. © Copyright 1982 by Thomas Nelson, Inc. Used by permission. All rights reserved. For sources of all quotations, see the weekly PDF of this study. All psalms for singing are from The Ailbe Psalter (Williston: Waxed Tablet Publications, 2006), available free by clicking here.

T.M. Moore

T. M. Moore is principal of The Fellowship of Ailbe, a spiritual fellowship in the Celtic Christian tradition. He and his wife, Susie, make their home in the Champlain Valley of Vermont.
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