Eric_Hyom: You are comparing apples and oranges. Having a sword is about being armed and ready to defend oneself. You can do that for a lifetime and never use it. Using a sword is about reacting to a threat. The model for the using of deadly force is to stop, “an imminent threat of grave bodily harm.” That threat level was not present that night in the the Garden of Gethsemane.
The people coming for Jesus could have shown up in attack mode, ready to kill Him and the Apostles on the spot. If they had, the use of swords would have been justified and the Apostles would have wished they had followed Jesus’ command to the letter and ALL gotten swords. But the adversaries came in what seems to be an orderly and I guess legal manner to arrest Jesus and take him to trial. So the use of swords was not called for. So Jesus’ first statement about swords was essentially, “Be prepared to defend yourself.” His second statement about swords was essentially saying, “Stand down, lethal force is not warranted.” It’s exactly the kind of thought process that’s taught in most firearms self-defense courses.
I have always thought the Apostle who cut off the man’s ear wrongly overstepped his bounds. Even then, Jesus does not say, “You did wrong.” or “Get rid of your swords, even though I just told you to get some.” He just says as the equivalent of “They didn’t come with swords out, so we’re not going to go use our swords either.
Also, Jesus knew he had to go with the people who came for Him to fulfill His destiny, but I think he wanted those people, and us today, to know He was going willingly, not just because they had all the swords and His people didn’t. He also wanted the Apostles to be ready to defend themselves and survive that scene, because they had important work to do after he was gone.
So Jesus is clearly pro-sword ownership for citizens. He not only permits it, He commanded it for the Apostles. But he is also clearly for using restraint from that position of strength, to not use the weapon unless someone is threatening deadly force. That is exactly how the vast majority of law abiding citizens think of the use of guns for defense today.