Dream word – PREPARE
“And He said to them, ‘When I sent you without money bag, knapsack, and sandals, did you lack anything?’ So they said, ‘Nothing.’ Then He said to them, ‘But now, he who has a money bag, let him take it, and likewise a knapsack; and he who has no sword, let him sell his garment and buy one. For I say to you that this which is written must still be accomplished in Me: “And He was numbered with the transgressors.” For the things concerning Me have an end.’ So they said, ‘Lord, look, here are two swords.’ And He said to them, ‘It is enough.’”
The dagger men
It was the eight times wounded and highly decorated American hero, General Robert Tyron Frederick, who not only founded the first and joint Canadian US Special Forces Brigade in WWII, but also helped design their close combat weapon of choice, the sharp and triangular shaped, V42 Stiletto commando fighting knife. This Stiletto fighting knife, is at one end designed to easily pass through the rib cage to the major organs and sharp enough to slice and not raggedly severe any artery, and at the other end, hard enough to act as skull cracker. The Stiletto knife still remains the fearful insignia for most special forces units. Indeed, the terror activities on the battle field of Frederick’s fighting men led them to be dubbed by their enemies as the Devil’s Brigade, for their secret, special and black ops antics meant they also left their calling card on all their sliced and diced, assassinated corpses which simply read, “Das dicke ende kommt noch,”or “The worst is yet to come.”
It was the Muslim, Hassan-i Sabbah, who became the founder of the Islamic sect which in turn became known as the Hashshashin, who were, according to Marco Polo’s observations, a drug induced, mass of murderers intent on martyrdom. Nevertheless, it was these same Hashshashin killers who would become the intriguing assassins of both fiction and film. However, they were not the first assassins by any means, for it was the first century Jewish Sicarii, who by the way, also especially enjoyed doing their knife murdering in public, that were the much feared and infamous assassins around the time of Christ. Yes, we must acknowledge that assassins are not new and that there is something both secret and silently terrifying about the dark infiltration of these most dangerous of dagger men.
Of course the apostles were also knife carriers themselves. Yes, even when Jesus was with them! The lost ear of Malchus would be a clear indication of that! Some would also suggest that Judas had not only previously been a Zealot, fighting against the Romans, but that his very name, Iscariot, might also be construed to show that he was also once a Sicarii himself, a political assassin, a sleek and silent terrorist if you will, striking not only at the Romans but publicly at any Jewish leader, political or religious, who were deemed to be in collaboration with their sworn enemy. You will also possibly remember the left-handed judge assassin named Ehud, who leaps from the old Testament narrative, brandishing a concealed and specially designed knife, to spill all the “dirt” from the Moab King Eglon’s oversized belly, onto the floor of his then, not-so-fine bathroom, and in the so doing, begin an uprising which would in turn free his people from the oppression of their Moabite enemies. Yes, dagger men have been around a long, long time.
In our much misunderstood text for tonight, I believe the Lord may be saying two things.
First, it is obvious that even in the disciples present inventory of protective weapons, that even if you were trained and proficient in their use, two daggers were probably not enough for a decent defence! Indeed, the subsequent command of Jesus to desist from physical defence whilst He got to the repair of Malchus’s ear, is indicative that He had no intention of their being used that night. With all this dagger counting and talking going on then, Jesus quickly says “Enough already!”Meaning either that He had no wish to continue down that line of conversation as it bore no reference to the actions of the present distress, or, that the presence of the two swords would be more than enough to have the possibility of trumped up political charges of insurrection brought against Him, that He might then fulfil the prophecy of Isaiah and indeed be counted as being among the transgressors.
The second and most practical of meanings is that that, where previously the disciples were to make no provision for their mission, from this point on, they were now to make every provision for the Great Commission and that included protecting themselves from attackers. I wonder if Jesus says “Even if you have to pawn your most important clothing, get a sword, for the battle is truly on!” Surely there is no metaphor here? Jesus simply says, “Get yourself a dagger because you are going to need it.”
While we have no record of the early church disciples protecting themselves against the indiscriminate attacks of robbing and murderous scum, we do have a clear record of no personal physical defence whatsoever being taken against political or religious attack. Where physical attacks occurred, it is clearly seen that where possible, full recourse was taken to initiate all necessary protection from the existing system of civil law.
Tonight, I say that within God’s law, we must make proper defence of ourselves and our family from any murderous attack. Tonight, I say that without the preclusion to the life of faith, we must also make every practical provision to ensure the fulfilment of the Great Commission. This Gospel message then, must not be delivered via the means of any Gunboat diplomacy, but nevertheless, I wonder if the carriers of this message might make sure then, that they maybe have some kind of Gunboat in their travelling bag?
Listen: “For if the trumpet makes an uncertain sound, who will prepare for battle?” 1 Corinthians 14:8 NKJV
Pray: Lord, help us to make better preparations for the promoting and proclamations of the Gospel of The Great Commission of Your Son and our Saviour, Jesus Christ the Lord. Amen and amen!
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