READ LUKE 18:31-34
The crowds were unrelenting. The words spoken were inwardly digested. Jesus was performing miraculous deeds. Many were coming to faith in Him. It was getting close to His final time on earth and He needed more time with His disciples. The group of these few good men, were his core. He wanted them to be prepared for what was going to happen. He gathered them together and took them away from the crowds so they could be alone. He then mapped out what would happen in the next few days.
He told of His betrayal into the hands of His enemies. He spoke of His upcoming humiliation, suffering and death. He related that through these things, the prophesies would be fulfilled. This wasn’t the first time Jesus spoke of His mission. They’d heard it all before, but still they didn’t have a clue about what was going to happen.
Think of how it is when we’re trying to teach or help our children. How many times do we have to repeat ourselves before the truth sinks in? You warn them about possible danger. You alert them to the consequences of doing something wrong. You implore them to clean their rooms. Frankly, I don’t think kids ever actually hear that one, because they rarely follow through.
Jesus message was more unbelievable. None of it made sense. Who would betray Him? They’d been together for three years and were loyal to Him. The idea of selling him out was impossible. Jesus said He would be tortured, spat upon, suffer extreme pain and mockery. That too was hard to imagine. The disciples knew their leader was gaining momentum. The crowds He attracted were overwhelming. How could they turn on Him in just a matter of days?
The fact that Jesus was telling these things to His men, wasn’t intended to worry them. He loved them all, just as He is willing to die for every human being. His intention was to prepare His men for what lay ahead – to encourage them – to strengthen their faith.
Were they prepared? Are we? We have the benefit of having a written account of all the events of Jesus’ ministry, His suffering, His death, His resurrection, His appearance to them after He was brought back to life. When it came time to defend their Savior, Peter acted in the moment and cut off a soldier’s ear. Others ran as fast as they could to escape. One lost his garment in his fear. One would go to the Pharisees to return the blood money he was given and proceed to commit suicide. Where were they when Jesus needed them most?
We’re much like the disciples in that we don’t always heed what our Champion has told us. We know it’s important, but it doesn’t make the top of our priority list. The message doesn’t make sense or fit into our timeline.
How many times did Jesus have to tell His followers? We know that He spoke of it many times during those three years. It was definitely important or He would not have made a point of repeating it.
When we’re trying to get the attention of our children, we often have to repeat ourselves over and over. It might sink in. Most likely it will take more times of telling. When Jesus has something important to say, we better listen.