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Then He said to them, “Now then, to the contrary,

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the one who has a money pouch should take it, also a traveler’s bag, and the one who does not have a sword, should sell his cloak to buy one.”

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Then Jesus said, “[I have reminded you of the principles I have been teaching you which you have proven trustworthy because God provided for your needs. Now let me place a contrary idea on the table for you to consider, one you already espouse. It says,]

“You need to go into situations as well prepared as you can to meet all your own needs, and

self defense is even more important, do anything you need to do, even abandon your sense of honor in order to be able to defend yourself.”


1: “To the contrary”

the conjunction used here is a very strong one, and “to the contrary” is one of its possible meanings. I think Jesus used this word to indicate that He had asked them a question which reminded them of  His own teaching on this matter, and now He was placing on the table an alternate idea for them to consider, which happened to be the idea that most them already espoused. The text does not say “but you say,” it only uses this strong conjunction to show that Jesus had changed direction.


This is a very strong statement. They used and needed their cloaks every day. Without a cloak one could not leave the house or he would suffer intense shame. It was his protection against bad weather by day and his blanket if he got caught away from home at night. Usually you could not convince a man to give up his cloak for anything. The reality is that a person would sell a few sheep to buy a sword, but never his cloak. This is obviously hyperbole, and when He said it the disciples were tempted to laugh, but because of the seriousness of the situation, they probably smiled instead