Daily Worship

He Could

Jock Stein July 16, 2021 0 1
Image credit: Unsplash
Listen to this daily worship

Matthew 26: 47-56 (NRSVA)

47 While he was still speaking, Judas, one of the twelve, arrived; with him was a large crowd with swords and clubs, from the chief priests and the elders of the people. 48 Now the betrayer had given them a sign, saying, ‘The one I will kiss is the man; arrest him.’ 49 At once he came up to Jesus and said, ‘Greetings, Rabbi!’ and kissed him. 50 Jesus said to him, ‘Friend, do what you are here to do.’ Then they came and laid hands on Jesus and arrested him. 51 Suddenly, one of those with Jesus put his hand on his sword, drew it, and struck the slave of the high priest, cutting off his ear. 52 Then Jesus said to him, ‘Put your sword back into its place; for all who take the sword will perish by the sword. 53 Do you think that I cannot appeal to my Father, and he will at once send me more than twelve legions of angels? 54 But how then would the scriptures be fulfilled, which say it must happen in this way?’ 55 At that hour Jesus said to the crowds, ‘Have you come out with swords and clubs to arrest me as though I were a bandit? Day after day I sat in the temple teaching, and you did not arrest me. 56 But all this has taken place, so that the scriptures of the prophets may be fulfilled.’ Then all the disciples deserted him and fled.

In today’s reading, Jesus speaks to Judas, to the sword-wielder, and to the crowd, and also says that he could appeal to his heavenly Father for immediate help. Could, but does not. The choice he made and renewed every second of his life.


While the cross is often called the heart of the gospel, behind it all lies the mystery we call incarnation, the deep centre of God’s interaction with the cosmos. How was Jesus aware of who he was, and who he had to be, so that every second was indeed sacred, showing us what divine holiness in human dress is really like? Another mystery, though the Gospels leave us with three clues – what his mother Mary may or must have shared with him, what the Scriptures taught him (verse 56), and what he learned from his Father in prayer (as verse 53).




God, we have these few seconds to reflect on the mystery of your incarnate, crucified, risen and ascended Son . . . to make us more heavenly-minded, and therefore of greater earthly use – and all for his sake, Amen.