June 23 – They Did Not Understand

Read: Mark 9:30-32

But they did not understand the saying, and were afraid to ask him. (Mark 9:32 ESV)

Jesus had just been transfigured before the eyes of his inner circle of disciples. For the second time he wanted them of his impending murder at the hands of the religious establishment. They could not understand what he was trying to say, and they were too afraid to ask for clarification.

What part do you think presented the most difficulty for them? Was it the bit the about resurrection? After all, no one had really heard of that before. In any case, the notion of Jesus being killed was very difficult for the disciples to comprehend.

I know that in my own life I often struggle to understand things that are new to me. I enjoy the process of thinking through new ideas. I relish the opportunity to think through an old thing in a new way, but that doesn’t mean that I am overly good at it.

Usually any preconceptions I have about an idea act as a bit of mental fog. They cloud my thinking and thwart clarity. This can make the road to understanding difficult.

I feel like that is what the disciples were going through when Jesus shared the knowledge of his approaching fate. It was so outside the realm of their considered possibilities that they were afraid to even acknowledge it as a potential outcome. They didn’t have that scenario figured out. It scared them.

Truthfully, Jesus leads us through the worst moments of personal misunderstanding. He helps to bring clarity back. It’s not always an academic clarity of a situation. However, of we trust and follow him, we are always led to clarity of faith. That is something I have to remind myself of frequently.

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