Swords and Clubs!


Immediately while He was still speaking, Judas, one of the twelve, came up accompanied by a crowd with swords and clubs, who were from the chief priests and the scribes and the elders.
(Mark 14:43 NASB)



This is the night that Jesus will be arrested. He's gone to the garden to pray. He is a man of peace. He never planned to overthrow the government. His kingdom was completely different from anything they had ever experienced. He and his disciples did not travel around heavily armed. Their armor was God, himself and yet, Judas, who should have known Jesus so well, leads the band of those coming to arrest him and they bring with them their weapons. Weapons from a human kingdom are brought to do battle with the King of God's kingdom. Somehow I think the author brings them up because they represent the sheer irony of the moment. Like a group of children arriving with toothpicks to do battle against a well-trained member of t the secret forces the scene was just as ridiculous. The swords and clubs were completely useless against someone like Jesus.



We have to notice a couple of things here. First of all, they were fighting their battles in the wrong realm, and second they brought the wrong weapons. Too often we are doing the same thing as we try to engage in warfare here in the earthly realm when what is really going on is happening in the spiritual. Jesus was constantly inviting people into the new kingdom. He wants us to step out of this world and into his kingdom, while we continue living here. That was Jesus' whole point of praying that they be "in" the world but not "of" the world. At the same time our battles are very often spiritual battles and not earthly battles. Sadly, we often think we have to be prepared for doing battle in the earthly realm and forget about preparing our weapons for the spiritual realm. We need to spend time with the Lord on a daily basis! (I know I say this over and over...but it's so foundational!) We need to be in the word, and praying! It is only in these places that God can speak to our hearts and teach us how to be children of his kingdom, while still living here on this earth. However, it is also the only way that we will learn which weapons are really appropriate for us to carry with us. Sadly, I'm afraid that even many of those who call themselves Christians today just might show up with the wrong weapons!



Lord, please help me to be sensitive to your guidance every day and may you prepare me to carry with me what you believe I need to have for your kingdom! Amen.


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