Many scholars are perplexed by Luke 22:38. Here is that Bible verse in context:
Luk 22:35 And he said unto them, When I sent you without purse, and scrip, and shoes, lacked ye any thing? And they said, Nothing.
Luk 22:36 Then said he unto them, But now, he that hath a purse, let him take it, and likewise his scrip: and he that hath no sword, let him sell his garment, and buy one.
Luk 22:37 For I say unto you, that this that is written must yet be accomplished in me, And he was reckoned among the transgressors: for the things concerning me have an end.
Luk 22:38 And they said, Lord, behold, here are two swords. And he said unto them, It is enough.
I have never met anyone that knew the meaning and couldn’t find what I felt was a valid explanation for the verse. I consulted several commentaries and found an interesting comment in Adam Clarke’s commentary:
“I must here confess that the matter about the swords appear to me very obscure. I am afraid I do not understand it, and I know of none who does.”
I’m going to explain why the Two Swords are Enough as I believe the Holy Spirit has revealed to me.
Even though Jesus spoke of earthly things, He was really revealing Spiritual Knowledge (Joh 3:12). The verses here in Luke are likewise a revelation of Spiritual Knowledge and are therefore discerned by those with the Spirit.
I believe the reasons the verses are difficult are that we have Jesus Christ who has told us to love our enemies and turn the cheek to now take up a Sword. But what is further confusing to most readers, as it was myself, was that the audience is comprised of more than two people since that audience is Jesus’ disciples. Therefore, two swords would seem very inefficient for protection or defense for the number of these disciples. What further adds to that difficulty is that we find one of the disciples being rebuked by Jesus when he uses a sword against the High Priest’s servant that had come to the apprehension of Jesus:
Mat 26:51 And, behold, one of them which were with Jesus stretched out his hand, and drew his sword, and struck a servant of the high priest’s, and smote off his ear.
Mat 26:52 Then said Jesus unto him, Put up again thy sword into his place: for all they that take the sword shall perish with the sword.
Mat 26:53 Thinkest thou that I cannot now pray to my Father, and he shall presently give me more than twelve legions of angels?
Mat 26:54 But how then shall the scriptures be fulfilled, that thus it must be?
Therefore we can see that Luke 22:38 leaves many readers with much confusion. But let’s think Spiritually. Do we have a Spiritual Description of what could be meant by the Sword? The answer can be found in
Eph_6:17 And take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God:
Notice that we let the Bible translate the meaning.
Notice other references to a Sword:
Rev_19:15 And out of his mouth goeth a sharp sword, that with it he should smite the nations: and he shall rule them with a rod of iron: and he treadeth the winepress of the fierceness and wrath of Almighty God.
So we have the Sword in a Spiritual context referring to the Word of God.
Could Jesus be referring to the Word of God as being Enough? While it seems very possible that Jesus is referring to the Word of God we need to also investigate how TWO SWORDS would be ENOUGH.
So if the Word of God relates to the sword reference in Luke 22:38, then we should understand that two swords would refer to Two of the Word of God. Now we know the disciples spoken to were the beloved Apostles. Those that have the Word of God have the Testimony of Jesus Christ.
Joh 15:27 And ye also shall bear witness, because ye have been with me from the beginning.
Witness is another word for Testimony. Inside the Ark of the Covenant was the 10 Commandments which was in two tables of stone. These Commandments were referred to as the Testimony:
Exo_31:18 And he gave unto Moses, when he had made an end of communing with him upon mount Sinai, two tables of testimony, tables of stone, written with the finger of God.
So God by His Word being engraved in the stones that were given to Moses in Two Tables of Testimony provide a former type here.
2Co_3:3 Forasmuch as ye are manifestly declared to be the epistle of Christ ministered by us, written not with ink, but with the Spirit of the living God; not in tables of stone, but in fleshy tables of the heart.
The verse above is a key verse in our understanding and linking the former type. We can see that the above is the Spirit of living God is written in fleshy tables of the heart. This means the heart of men shall possess the Testimony of God via the Spirit. The Spirit of God is also found in the Word of God:
Joh_6:63 It is the spirit that quickeneth; the flesh profiteth nothing: the words that I speak unto you, they are spirit, and they are life.
Now Jesus dispatches His Apostles by twos:
Mar_6:7 And he called unto him the twelve, and began to send them forth by two and two; and gave them power over unclean spirits;
So we have found links between men having the Word of God (The very Testimony of Jesus Christ) being sent out by Twos as dispatched by Jesus.
Now let’s tie this together:
Deu_17:6 At the mouth of two witnesses, or three witnesses, shall he that is worthy of death be put to death; but at the mouth of one witness he shall not be put to death.
Notice above that while 3 witnesses and for that matter more could be found to put someone to death, TWO were ENOUGH.
So what we have found is that Jesus has dispatched His Apostles by TWOs to put others to death by the SWORD which is the Word of God.
Now what does that mean that they would be putting others to death by the Sword? It means that those to whom would believe the message (Word of God) preached by those Apostles, they would therefore die Spiritually. In other words, they would cease to be themselves and now manifest a new identify and emulate Christ. This is really what salvation is – emulating the Son of God. So those that believe are spiritually beheaded and live anew in Christ Jesus.