Why Did Jesus Tell the Disciples to Buy a Sword?

When Jesus told his disciples to buy a sword, it left many people puzzled. After all, wasn’t he known for his message of love and peace?

So why would he encourage his followers to arm themselves? Let’s explore the reasons behind this seemingly contradictory statement.

Context Matters

To understand Jesus’ words better, we need to look at the context in which they were spoken. At the time, Jesus knew that he was about to be arrested and crucified. He had already told his disciples multiple times that he would be leaving them soon and that they needed to be prepared for what was to come.

The Spiritual Battle

In Luke 22:35-38, Jesus asks his disciples if they have a sword among them. They reply that they have two swords. But when Peter uses one of these swords to cut off the ear of a servant of the high priest who has come to arrest Jesus, Jesus tells him to put it away and heals the man’s ear.

So why did Jesus ask about the sword in the first place? Some scholars believe that it was a metaphorical reference to the spiritual battle that was taking place. In other words, he was telling them that they needed to be equipped with spiritual weapons such as faith and prayer.

Safety Concerns

Another reason why Jesus may have asked about the sword is related to safety concerns. In those times, traveling alone or in small groups could be dangerous due to bandits or robbers along the way. By having a sword on hand, the disciples would have been better able to protect themselves from potential harm.

A Warning

Finally, some scholars believe that Jesus’ words about buying a sword were actually a warning about what was to come. He knew that his followers would face persecution and even death for their beliefs and wanted them to be prepared for the challenges ahead.


In conclusion, Jesus’ statement about buying a sword may seem contradictory to his message of love and peace, but it was made in a specific context and for specific reasons. Whether he was speaking metaphorically about the spiritual battle or warning his followers of the dangers ahead, his words serve as a reminder that we must always be prepared for whatever challenges come our way, both physical and spiritual.