At the Last Supper, Jesus tried to prepare the men for what was ahead.
Only much later, after the Passion and the Resurrection and the coming of the Holy Spirit, would the disciples understand the things Jesus told them that night. It was His duty to warn them. He began with Peter.
“Simon, Simon! Indeed, Satan has asked for you, that he may sift you as wheat.
But I have prayed for you, that your faith should not fail; and when you have returned to Me, strengthen your brethren.”
Simon Peter would have none of it. He boasted that He would follow Jesus even to prison or to death. A silence followed this boast as the other disciples lowered their heads, tiring of Peter’s impulsive answers but hoping that each of them would do the same.
In that silence, Peter’s thoughts raced. He had no way of knowing how Satan worked on the inside of a man, invading his private thoughts and suggesting unspeakable behavior. He only knew that he had left all to follow Jesus. He believed everything Jesus said. He knew the power of Jesus’ name on his own lips as he healed the sick and cast out demons. He felt the fish and bread multiply in his own hands in the wilderness. He had seen the winds and waves obey the voice of Jesus and walked on the water to meet Him. Yes, Peter believed it all, all except this strange prediction that he would fail Jesus. Fear and disbelief fought each other in the fisherman’s heart.
Jesus let the silence linger before smiling at Peter and answering quietly.
“I tell you, Peter, the rooster shall not crow this day before you will deny three times that you know Me.”
Silence. Peter’s empty boasts were all used up.
Preparing for Battle
Jesus began to prepare the men for the conflict ahead. He compared His former call to ministry to the days that were upon them.
- Previously He told them not to carry provisions and everything they need was provided.
- Now they must plan carefully and carry provisions for an ongoing battle.
- Previously He told them to turn the other cheek, now He told them to arm themselves with a sword.
He was about to be “numbered with the transgressors” and they must defend themselves. One of the disciples said,
“Lord, look, here are two swords.”
“It is enough.”
Two Swords Are Enough
A sword can be both a defensive and an offensive weapon. To wage warfare in Jesus’ name we need two swords:
- The defensive, real-world sword to protect our lives and those we love and
- The “Sword of the Spirit” to wage warfare against spiritual wickedness in high places.
As He did so many times in the history of Israel, God blessed the weapons of His people when they fought earthly foes. If He had not done this, they would have failed in their mission to bring Messiah into the World. When attacked by enemies of the flesh, we can and must use natural weapons to defend ourselves.
Over and above the human forces arrayed against us are the armies of Satan. Here we fight both a defensive and an offensive warfare. We are commanded to take up the whole armor of God which includes one offensive weapon, the Sword of the Spirit, the Word of God, a sharp, two-edged blade. This is the second sword.
It is enough.
And the Lord said, “Simon, Simon! Indeed, Satan has asked for you, that he may sift you as wheat. But I have prayed for you, that your faith should not fail; and when you have returned to Me, strengthen your brethren.” But he said to Him, “Lord, I am ready to go with You, both to prison and to death.” Then He said, “I tell you, Peter, the rooster shall not crow this day before you will deny three times that you know Me.” 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.”
Ephesians 6:10-20 NKJV
Finally, my brethren, be strong in the Lord and in the power of His might. Put on the whole armor of God, that you may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil. For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this age, against spiritual hosts of wickedness in the heavenly places. Therefore take up the whole armor of God, that you may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand. Stand therefore, having girded your waist with truth, having put on the breastplate of righteousness, and having shod your feet with the preparation of the gospel of peace; above all, taking the shield of faith with which you will be able to quench all the fiery darts of the wicked one. And take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God; praying always with all prayer and supplication in the Spirit, being watchful to this end with all perseverance and supplication for all the saints – and for me, that utterance may be given to me, that I may open my mouth boldly to make known the mystery of the gospel, for which I am an ambassador in chains; that in it I may speak boldly, as I ought to speak.
Lord Jesus You are the King of Glory. I will lift up the gates of Praise and in this way I will do battle! “Lift up your heads, O you gates! And be lifted up, you everlasting doors! And the King of glory shall come in. Who is this King of glory? The Lord, strong and mighty, The Lord, mighty in battle. Lift up your heads, O you gates! Lift up, you everlasting doors! And the King of glory shall come in. Who is this King of glory? The Lord of hosts, He is the King of glory.” (Psalm 24:7-10 NKJV)
Words and Music: Debbye Graafsma
Mighty Warrior, dressed for battle.
Holy Lord of all is He!
Commander in Chief, bring us to attention
Lead us into battle to crush the enemy
1. Satan has no authority here in this place.
He has no authority here.
For this habitation
Was fashioned for the Lord’s presence,
No authority here.
2. Jesus has all authority here in this place.
He has all authority here!
For this habitation
Was fashioned for the Lord’s presence,
All authority here!
© 2018 Stephen R. Phifer All Rights Reserved
TheJesusStory devotions are also found at KingdomWinds.com.