Monday, August 29, 2011

Interpretations: What Did Jesus Mean?

During the course of our lives, most of us will follow a certain set of philosophies, cultural ideologies or teachings of some kind.  Whether physical, mental, spiritual or theological, these aspects act somewhat as guides or templates in determining the paths we will take in life.  Behind each of these particular aspects, usually lies a person that the philosophy, ideology or teaching was developed from.  In the realm of Christianity, Jesus Christ lies as the foundation for each and every belief, doctrine, philosophy and theology in general.  To the Christian, Christ points to every aspect of faith, and consequently every aspect of faith points to Christ.

It's important for us to interpret scripture, not only from our personal point of view, in terms of what a particular passage says to us spiritually, but we also need to consider contextual, historic, cultural, and lingusitic aspects as well.  As stated above, it's also very imperative to search and decipher what Jesus said and taught regarding the potential interpretation.  Some areas of teaching are very explicit, in which Jesus addresses the issue directly, or indirectly.  And as you may well know, some areas are a bit critique.  Either way, it's important for us to do our best in deciphering what Jesus taught on the issue we deal with in life.   
Recently, I ran across a particular passage that has taken a bit more study and reflection.  I had planned on presenting this verse in my blog, exploring the various interpretations and then discussing which I thought was correct in terms of what Jesus is trying to get across.  Instead, I thought that it might be interesting to first start a discussion.

Take a look at Luke 22; specifically Luke 22:35-38.  What do you think Jesus is talking about in this passage?  Why does Jesus command the apostles to buy swords?  I will share with you that my traditional interpretation of this passage had been wrong up until now.        

Luke 22:35-38.  

"Then Jesus asked them, “When I sent you without purse, bag or sandals, did you lack anything?”
   “Nothing,” they answered.
 36 He said to them, “But now if you have a purse, take it, and also a bag; and if you don’t have a sword, sell your cloak and buy one. 37 It is written: ‘And he was numbered with the transgressors’[b]; and I tell you that this must be fulfilled in me. Yes, what is written about me is reaching its fulfillment.”
 38 The disciples said, “See, Lord, here are two swords.”
   “That’s enough!” he replied.

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