And He said to them, “When I sent you out without money belt and bag and sandals, you did not lack anything, did you?” They said, “No, nothing.” 36 And He said to them, “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. 37 For I tell you that this which is written must be fulfilled in Me, ‘And He was numbered with transgressors’; for that which refers to Me has its fulfillment.”38 They said, “Lord, look, here are two swords.” And He said to them, “It is enough.”
Well, I was kind of at a loss as to how to approach these verses. Really, in order to study these verses, you have to recall Luke 10, where Jesus sent them out with nothing. It's a little confusing, really, because basically Jesus is telling them to do the opposite of what he'd told them before. Mark Driscoll in Jesus, Tough and Tender:
...one of the statements in the Protestant Reformation was tota sola Scriptura. It’s a Latin phrase that means all of Scripture is alone our highest authority. Even the best books that we write don’t compare to the book that God wrote, and so our highest authority, the authority by which we test reason, and tradition, and religion, and philosophy, and sociology, and psychology is the Word of God, and that is our metaphorical supreme court of highest authority, and everything is tested by the Scriptures.
Now, in that, we need to be careful that we test by all of Scripture; otherwise, what happens is people go to the Bible, they take a part that they like, they ignore the parts they don’t, or they sometimes just innocently but errantly build their whole life, or doctrine, or behavior on a section of Scripture without considering all that Scripture has to say.
Earlier in Luke, we read this. Luke 10:3–4, Jesus says to his disciples, “Go your way; behold, I am sending you out as lambs in the midst of wolves. Carry no moneybag, no knapsack, no sandals.” So, Jesus looks at his disciples, says, “Pack nothing: no food, no money, no supplies, no weapons. You’re like a lamb. You’re like a lamb.”
Now, if you only obeyed this verse and didn’t practice tota sola Scriptura, do you know what we’d do today? Well, we’d take your purse, ladies. We would take your wallet, gentlemen. We would take your shoes, right? We would take all of your provisions, and we would send you out of here saying, “Hey, Jesus said take nothing with you.” Now what do you think about that? I see women clutching their purse. I can see that. But this is what Jesus said, right?
And if I came to you, and I said, “Hey, Jesus said no shoes. Shoes off!” You’re like, “Really? It’s a sin to wear shoes?” “Jesus said it! “And no backpacks and definitely no fanny packs, for a variety of reasons, some of which are theological. Some of them are just aesthetic and style related.
Well, which is it, Jesus? Pack supplies or don’t pack supplies? Be ready or don’t be ready? Wear shoes or don’t wear shoes? Pack a weapon or don’t pack a weapon? Which is it? And it all depends on the mission. It depends on what you’re being sent to do.
How many of you, let me ask, how many of you tend to be more tender? You’re more tender. All the verses on love, grace, mercy, compassion, forgiveness, forbearance, long-suffering, turning the other cheek, loving your enemies, you like those, because that’s how you are. How many of you are more tough? All the hell, wrath, judgment, flood, fire, brimstone— “Yeah! Love me them verses.” Right?
How many of you even then, when it comes to Jesus, some of you go to Jesus and you say, “I just fondly recall all the tender stories about Jesus.” How many of you fondly recall all the tough stories about Jesus? See how this works? If we don’t practice tota sola Scriptura, we see Jesus as either tender or tough.
And here’s the truth. Some of you are too tender; you need to be more tough. Some of you are too tough; you need to be more tender. And it’s true for all of us.
Mr. Driscoll then lists off a whole bunch of different examples of Jesus' tenderness and toughness, which would make this post insanely long, so if you'd like to read them for yourself, please click the link above.
So back to my original question. Is Jesus tender or tough? The answer is yes. He’s tender and tough, and sometimes he’s tender and tough at the same time. How about you? Do you tend to be more tender, or do you tend to be more tough? Or to say it another way, do you tend to be Luke 10 or Luke 22?
And if you don’t practice tota sola Scriptura, you’re just going to get verses and portraits of Jesus that fit either tender or tough, and you will reduce Jesus to that, and then you will seek to be like him, hopefully by the grace of God, but the truth is you won’t be obeying all that the Bible says, only some of what the Bible says.
Definitely something to think about! The sermon also talks about Jesus frequently quoting Scripture and how important it is that we know the Bible well. That is also very good advice. I memorized a lot of verses as a kid, but I haven't been diligent about "hiding God's word in my heart" as an adult. Something else to work on!
Tender or tough - depending on what we are sent to do. Great post Miriam.
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