Sell your cloak and buy a sword?

Apparently Jesus told his apostles this, or so I keep getting told. Is there any record that they did this, or that they used swords on people later on? I always thought that the early Christians were a peaceful people who were sometimes fed to lions, was I wrong?


Didn't Jesus rebuke Peter for using a sword?

And didn't he say that whoever lives by the sword dies by it?

I'm honestly really confused!

17 Answers

  • Anonymous
    1 decade ago
    Favorite Answer

    Luke 22:36-38 where Christ tells his followers to sell their cloak to buy a sword.

    Read more about it at this link:

    Basically the terms "cloak" and "sword" are a metaphor

    In telling them to sell their cloak (an important garment for shelter against the elements in travel) and buy a sword he was telling them that the relatively easy work was done; now it would be all out war with Satan and all that adopted his agenda. They would have to fight for their lives. He isn’t speaking of a literal fight with swords.

    He assured Pilate that his kingdom was not "of the world". That is, it wasn’t established by force or deceit or war. He said his kingdom was not of this world and that if it were "then my servants would fight to prevent my arrest by the Jews." A kingdom of the world would lead to swordplay and other things but that wasn’t the nature of Christ’s reign (John 18:36). And when Peter produced one to do just that Christ rebuked him and healed the wounded servant (Luke 22:49-51). If there was to be killing done it was not to be done by the disciples of Christ because he sent them out as sheep among wolves and told them not to be afraid of those that killed the body (Matthew 10:16,28).

    When in Luke 22:38 the disciples produced two swords Christ had no more to say. Either he is shaking his head in semi-despair or less affected by it he sees that there’s little point in saying any more. At this distance we think he could have been plainer but hindsight is always 20/20. He had told them repeatedly that he was going to be killed but they couldn’t understand him why would we think that he could get them to understand the nature of his and their mission?

    Source(s): Heres a link to a discussion about the "meaning of cloak and sword" - or here:
  • 3 years ago

    Buy A Sword

  • 3 years ago

    I think Jesus knew he was not going to be there in the Physical self anymore. He was talking about a sword . His poss-e was going on alone doing his work and fighting his adversaries. Tell me this - how could any of them preach and witness against some who hated them without protection from those who wanted to harm them ?? Now days we have Christians being murdered everywhere - why ? God only knows - i know this i have a bible in my left hand and a Bush-e in my right . God gave me a brain and an ability to protect myself and my family - and with his word and blessings i can do it. Im no good to him if im dead in the street - i can't preach his word or witness to anyone from a box. Some say - he will protect you - yes he will - but for what ever reasons he has not protected the slaughtered all over the world - i have a better chance to live by his word if i " God up and Gun up - in that order "

  • Kokita
    Lv 4
    4 years ago

    Good question actually. Even I used to wonder why. What I feel is Jesus was telling the disciples that it is time for Him to go away from them. He sent them to proclaim the gospel without any necesseties and they lacked nothing. Now he is asking them to be prepared of things they want. Money, dresses and sandals and even sword if someone attacks them to defend I feel. If He intended to kill the enemies by the sword, why did He rebuke Peter when peter cut the ears of Malchus. We can see Jesus healing the ear too. So it is nothing about to make war. But just as defense.

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  • Anonymous
    1 decade ago

    That "live by the sword...die by the sword" quote isn't in the Bible, is it?

    Christians were a peaceful people who were sometimes fed to lions, you're right.

    Swords costed much more than a cloak though. Probably.

    There seems to be some confusion here.

  • 6 years ago

    When he told them to buy a sword it was merely for their self defence. That in it self is not living by the sword as some people did. Using it to solve conflicts rather the trying to talk it out. Killing some one because they believed differently the they did. In Jesus case here he knew what was going to happen. He didn't need any one to defend him as he said In Matt 26:53.

  • 1 decade ago

    When the pharisees came to take Jesus, Peter cut off one of their ears with a sword, I think that's in Luke.

  • 1 decade ago

    "But now, whoever has a money belt is to take it along, likewise also a bag, and whoever has no sword is to sell his coat and buy one." (Luke 22:36 NASB)


  • Maybe Jesus was a Muslim and wanted His followers to spread the faith by the sword and murder and behead all who refuse to convert and be a Muslim as well? I mean after all look at the example Muhammad set for his followers and the blood drenched history of Islamic expansionism and imperialism, from it's inception clear up to this very day. Maybe that's why Muhammad had to be sent, to show Jesus' followers the right way to behave and to spread their faith? Just saying........

  • 4 years ago

    starting with v35 Christ reminds them .i sent you with nothing.No money, no shoes Right?ok Now how ever I am leaving now you will need money ,shoes, sword,. not for war. then v38 look,we have TWO SWORDS already, he must have been shaking his head,they still did not get it. IT IS ENOUGH....but praise his name they did after the day of Pentecost.ACT ch 2

  • 1 decade ago

    Your confusion is quite understandable, but as with nearly all "contraditions" in the Bible, we can find a reasonable solution if we look closely.

    One key is Luke 22:37. Jesus said that it was time to fulfill the prophecy that he would be regarded as a rebel. Therefore, the command to buy a sword was NOT empowering Peter to actually use it, but rather to bring about his destiny: being arrested and getting crucified. (Due to the Roman occupation of Palestine, people were highly on edge, politically and socially. Being labeled a rebel could incur the wrath of the Roman authorities.)

    Indeed, if we look at the very next verse, Luke 22:38, and the rest of Jesus' life & teachings, we see someone who is deeply committed against using armed rebellion to settle disputes.

    So you are correct. The early disciples of Jesus were strictly peaceful people. They preferred death over resorting to arms.

    Source(s): Gospel of Luke, Foxy's Book of Martyrs.
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