Don’t You Get It?
Polls constantly seek to divine who’s popular. One thing we should all remember is that crowds are fickle. Another fact of life is that if you’re a teacher, your students often don’t get it. At Southern Bible where I teach Old Testament we have only three weeks till the final exam, and if I want my students to excel, I have to grab their ears and repeat, repeat, repeat.
Crowds flocked to Jesus in the early part of His ministry, but He didn’t give in to the applause. In fact, He knew that soon they would turn and betray Him. So He invested in a small band trying to prepare them by telling them clearly that He would be booed by the crowd and murdered, but in this suffering the Father was writing an unbelievable script. (Check out Isaiah 53:1-12). The salvation of the world, forgiveness, would be won by the suffering, death, and resurrection of the Suffering Servant, and this meant that even His closest disciples wouldn’t get the point until after the fact.
“Now while all were marveling over all that Jesus was doing, He said to His disciples, ‘Put these words into your ears! The Son of Man is about to be handed over into the hands of men.’ But they weren’t getting it. It was hidden from them. They didn’t understand and they were afraid to ask Him about all these things.” Luke 9:43-45
Earlier in his narrative Luke told us about the Apostle Peter coming to the realization that Jesus was the Messiah. Right after this, Jesus told His disciples clearly that the Son of Man would suffer and be rejected by the religious leaders. He would be killed and then raised the third day (Lk. 9:21-22). It was stated in simple words. It was clear, but they didn’t get it. Now Jesus repeats the lesson again, and they still don’t put it all together.
We live on the other side of Good Friday and the Resurrection. It’s easy for us to shake our heads and say, “What’s the matter with these guys? Jesus couldn’t have stated what was going to happen more clearly. Why don’t they get it?” When I’m tempted to point out the original disciples’ dullness, I go back and remember what Jesus said about the need for me to daily pick up my cross—to face rejection by the crowd, betrayal by so-called religious leaders, and suffer for His Kingdom (Lk. 9:23-27).
Jesus hasn’t called us to a popular majority movement. We’re in the minority—a minority that will only win when Jesus returns. Today I need to put these words in my ears so that the fickle crowd does not seduce me.
LORD, help me to be as patient with my students when they don’t get it as You are patient with me. And thanks that Your disciples did get it in Luke’s second volume, the Book of Acts. Help me join them in spreading Your Good News all over the world.
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