Then Jesus took the twelve aside and said to them, “See, we are going up to Jerusalem, and everything that is written about the Son of Man by the prophets will be accomplished. For he will be handed over to the Gentiles; and he will be mocked and insulted and spat upon. After they have flogged him, they will kill him, and on the third day he will rise again.” But they understood nothing about all these things; in fact, what he said was hidden from them, and they did not grasp what was said.
This is another passage where the ordinariness of the disciples comes to the fore. They were ordinary people, just like each one of us – and Jesus tells them what will happen when they reach Jerusalem. Jesus knows what he is to face, and is trying to warn his disciples – perhaps he thought that “forewarned is forearmed” – that if they knew what was going to happen, they would somehow find the strength to cope with it.
But they didn’t understand, one of the many times they didn’t understand. And why should they?
Here was Jesus telling them something absolutely terrible was about to happen – that he would be mocked and insulted and spat upon and flogged and killed – and He wasn’t running away. Perhaps that’s why they were not grasping it, because if they were threatened with the same thing, and they were innocent, surely they would run away – walk in the other direction, but Jesus wasn’t doing that, he was still heading to Jerusalem, heading for trouble.
They wouldn’t understand until much later, and that is true for us too – that perhaps we don’t understand straight away – but we trust that God has patience to wait for us to come to our own realisations.
Lord, when we are confused,
When tomorrow seems too daunting,
Help us to understand and to simply follow,
To trust that you will show us
The way to go.
Ann Honey is a Church Related Community Worker in the Northern Synod
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