…and if you don't have a sword, sell your cloak and buy one.
Why does Jesus tell His students to buy a sword?
Does this instruction contradict His teaching about turning the other cheek? Does He actually intend for His students to fight?
We know Jesus will rebuke Peter when he attempts to use one of the swords against those who come to arrest Him.
Obviously He isn’t building an arsenal of weaponry - The disciples said, "See, Lord, here are two swords." "That is enough," he replied.
So why buy a sword?
The key to understanding is in the phrase following the advice - It is written: "And he was numbered with the transgressors"; and I tell you that this must be fulfilled in me.
The Scripture must be fulfilled in me.
Perhaps Jesus knows that merely the appearance of a hostile intention will play into the plans of God. He will be arrested and killed as a transgressor – perceived to be a leader of a band of insurrectionists.
Maybe it is simply a metaphor for the violent struggle that He knows now looms before Him.
But it’s a change. This isn’t like before, like all the times they peaceably travelled about preaching the good news. No, now everything is marching to a brutal conclusion.
So Jesus says - "Yes, what is written about me is reaching its fulfillment."