Swords at Night

Swords at Night

55 In that hour Jesus said to the multitudes, “Have you come out, as against a

robber, with swords and clubs to take Me? I sat daily with you, teaching in the temple, and you did not seize Me. 56 But all this was done that the Scriptures of the prophets might be fulfilled.”

Matthew 26:54

Jesus is always at his best in terms of wisdom when he’s asking questions. Throughout the gospels, Jesus asked questions. Her did this, not because he didn’t know the answers, but because he wanted to the very he was asking the questions to think in a new way. It is very easy for humans to get caught up in the moment. We know the power of mob rule and how people can be coerced into doing things they regularly wouldn’t only because there’s others around them. The internet is also a great place where the anonymity of the web causes people to write or express things they would never say out loud or to a person’s face. By asking a question, Jesus forces the people he is speaking with to think about their actions and ideas.

Have you come out against a robber? Why did you bring clubs and swords to arrest me? These questions bring to the forefront the irrational fear that those men had against Jesus. Jesus was, except for the scene at the Temple, a very calm and non-violent man. He never hurt anyone and never raised a weapon against another human being. Why would so many armed men be needed to arrest Jesus?

One possible answer is that they feared his disciples more than Jesus. Peter did take out a sword and masterfully kill an ear of a man. I guess you could put sword fighting besides fishing as talents that Peter seemed to be weak on. But this idea doesn’t hold much water once you realize that everyone runs away once Jesus is arrested. Jesus’ disciples weren’t fearless or intimidating it seems.

The most probably answer is that they wanted to take Jesus quickly and forcibly. They couldn’t risk that this mission could spread around the people. The leaders feared the masses. They feared the very people below them. Just like taking a band-aid, they wanted it to be fast. That is why they tried to do everything in a single night. Arrest, try and execute before anyone woke up- that was always the plan.

Trying to force something through, especially in secret, is one of the clearest signs that what is being done is wrong. When you have to try and conceal your actions, don’t convince yourself that you’re still doing God’s work. God is about bringing light into the world and not darkness.

When we act in this manner, we should keep our ears open because we just might hear Jesus asking us a question. If we are open enough to hear it we might just see the reality of our actions and thoughts.

God bless,
Pr. Steven Couto