Key Verse: Luke 22:29 “I bestow upon you a kingdom, just as My Father bestowed one upon Me.”
Here’s a passage of scripture that has been remarkably silent over the years. At least in sermons, that is. We have probably heard a few sermons on Jesus sending out the disciples without “purse, bag or sandals”–the point of our dependency on God was well made in all of them. In fact, the party line has been that if God calls you and sends you out, you can rely totally on Him and have no need of money, extra clothing, or a second pair of Adidas. And the stock response from the faithful, as this principle is preached, is, “Amen!”
But wait a minute! After the disciples affirm that they had no need the first time they were out there ministering without material resources, Jesus now tells them the rules have changed. “But now” He says, “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.” (v.36 NIV). Jesus is telling His disciples to buy a sword, and to sell their overcoat to get one? You mean defending yourself against an attack is more important in Jesus’ eyes than defending yourself against the elements, and you need money and a suitcase as well? Where did you say that reference was again?
What’s going on here? The real world, that’s what. Jesus had already taught His disciples the lesson of complete submission to His will and total dependence upon His provision. Now, He was stressing the complementary role we can play in our ministries by good planning and responsible management. Wha’t more, He was showing us that, as far as our physical safety is concerned, there are some “executive responsibilities” we have in assisting our Heavenly Father and His ministering angels in this business of staying alive. Jesus wants us to be childlike–not childish.