The Two Reasons Jesus Told Peter To Put Up His Sword

In the midst of Jesus being taken for trial, John 18:10-11 says “Then Simon Peter having a sword drew it, and smote the high priest’s servant, and cut off his right ear. … Then said Jesus unto Peter, Put up thy sword into the sheath: the cup which my Father hath given me, shall I not drink it?” So one reason Jesus told Peter to put up his sword is because Jesus did not want to defend himself as that would tend to defeat the very reason He came to this earth – to be crucified for our sins.

But in Matt 26:52 Jesus gives a different/second reason “Then said Jesus unto him (Peter), Put up again thy sword into his place: for all they that take the sword shall perish with the sword.” This reason in one broad stroke proves that self defense is wrong for a Christian. If we take up the sword to defend ourselves or others as Peter did, then Jesus condemns the action by asserting such will “perish with the sword.” Jesus is not intending to make this instruction optional; he commanded Peter to “put up … thy sword ” because “they that take the sword shall perish with the sword.” Wouldn’t the same apply to us if we “take (use) the sword” against another human being for any reason? Yes, we would come under Jesus’ censure “they that take the sword shall perish with the sword” for so doing. Anybody who “takes the sword shall perish with the sword”; that is a denunciation of doing so, not an allowance.

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