Linked List // December 26 2015

Walter Brueggemann on Idolatry - ANNOTATE from Wipf and Stock Publishers on Vimeo.

Rome only crucified those who were a potential threat to the empire. For Jesus to be crucified, Rome would have to convict him as a potential revolutionary. And this is the point of the swords. With swords in their possession, Jesus and His disciples would be viewed as potential revolutionaries and Jesus would therefore fulfill Isaiah 53 to be numbered with other (revolutionary) transgressors. If Rome didn’t have any legal grounds to incriminate Jesus, there would have been no crucifixion.

This interpretation makes good sense of the quote from Isaiah 53 and the flow of Jesus’s ethical teaching. Up until Luke 22, Jesus has prohibited his followers from using violence, even in self-defense. Is Jesus now changing his mind by telling his followers to use the sword in self-defense? It seems better to take his command to buy a sword as we have suggested: Jesus is providing Rome with evidence to put Him on the cross.

So we could view Jesus’ command as a figurative expression about their coming suffering or as a way of ensuring His own crucifixion. Either way, it’s highly unlikely that Jesus encourages violent self-defense here.

In fact, just a few verses later, Peter wields one of the two swords and Jesus rebukes him: No more of this!” (22:51)

December 26, 2015 · Linked List


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