Then he said to all of them, “When I sent you out empty-handed, did you lack anything?”
“Not a thing,” they answered. “God provided all we needed.”
Jesus said, “But now I say to you: Take what you need.
If you have money, take it—and a knapsack and a sword. Danger is imminent.
For the prophetic Scripture about me ‘He will be accused of being a criminal’ will now come to pass. All that was prophesied of me will be fulfilled.”
The disciples told him, “Lord, we already have two swords!”
“You still don’t understand,” Jesus responded.
Luke 22:35-38 (TPT)
There are some words that stick with you, words that are unshakeable, unforgettable and even unexplainable. When I studied for the spelling bee many, many, many years ago, one such word was enigmatic. Say it with me, “en-ig-mat-ic.” You did great! I learned the Latin word for enigmatic is “aenigmaticus” derived from the word “aenigma” which simply refers to something that is hidden, perplexing or mysterious.
Friends, I have lived long enough to know that many things in life are enigmatic. Life, love and labor are filled with many perplexing problems, strange situations and messy misunderstandings. No matter how old you are there are just some things we just won’t understand. Like I don’t understand politics; I don’t understand how people can be unkind; I don’t understand how people can hate without cause; and I don’t understand how women can wear so much makeup and say “I’m keeping it real!” LOL! I needed to bring humor to this dialogue, because life can be overwhelming at times… because life is perplexing, relationships are mysterious and people at times are downright bizarre.
In our text, life is about to get heavy for the disciples. For three years he’s been with them twenty-four seven. For 1,095 days, they have witnessed and worked with the master as he ministered. For 26,280 hours, they have observed him make ways out of no ways. He was their master teacher, and now they are, in a real sense, about to graduate without a ceremony. No pomp and circumstance, no cap and gown, but with a degree in suffering. Danger is imminent! Suffering is ahead and the sad reality is they missed the message. They heard Jesus talking, but they weren’t really listening. Jesus responds by saying “HUH!”
How many times have we misunderstood what God has said? How many times in our lives have we heard God’s instructions but missed His intent! These disciples went though their itemized checklist, checking off the boxes just like we do, trying to be obedient. Money, check! Knapsacks check! Swords (Glock, Smith and Wesson,) “We already have two swords!” Check! They missed it! We missed it because our response makes God say, “HUH!”
Fellow servants, life for the child of God is going to be dangerous, filled with sadness and suffering. Life won’t always be good, there will be difficult days. We are not exempt from the vicissitudes (changes) of life. We will experience floods, ice storms, fires, water outages, broken pipes and broken dreams; persecution, hatred, unfair treatment, financial trouble, health crisis and you name it. The good news is we will always have the Spirit of God with us, leading and guiding us along life’s way even when we don’t understand. The songwriter said it best, “We’ll understand it better by and bye! #BeEncouraged!