How could the disciples be so dense?
In Matthew 20:17-19, Mark 10:32-34 and Luke 18:31-34, Jesus clearly tells them what will happen when they arrive in Jerusalem.
“For the Son of Man will be betrayed to the chief priests and to the scribes; and they will condemn Him to death and deliver Him to the Gentiles; and they will mock Him, and scourge Him, and spit on Him, and kill Him. They will crucify Him. And the third day He will rise again.”
How could He be any more clear? Yet immediately after this, James, John and their mother (who might have been Jesus’ aunt), came and asked Jesus for positions of prominence in His kingdom. Huh? Positions of prominence? He said He’d be hung on a cross to die.
After traveling through Jericho where He heals Bartimaeus of his blindness and dines with Zacchaeus, Jesus tells the disciples another parable as they neared Jerusalem. Luke tells us Jesus told this parable “because they thought the kingdom of God would appear immediately.” Huh? Immediately? After Jesus just told them what would happen in Jerusalem… betrayed, condemned, mocked, scourged, spit on, crucified and killed… things that don’t sound remotely like a triumphant kingdom.
The disciples were hearing what they wanted to hear, thinking what they wanted to think, believing what they wanted to believe. The truth can be harsh, inconvenient, abrupt.
And I’m just like the disciples. Oh, how often I fail to really listen… to others… to God…
In stubbornness and pride, my mind is already made up. I hear what I want to hear, think what I want to think, believe what I want to believe.
Father, teach me to truly listen. In humility, help me to hear what You want me to hear, see what You want me to see, and then live how You want me to live.
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