The disciples fascinate me. For the first time, I’ve read straight through from Matthew to John and they are intriguing characters when seen in one fell swoop.
One thing that stuck out to me was how many times Jesus explicitly told them that He was going to (a) die and (b) rise again. Seriously. So many times. And how many times they were like “Hmmm, what does this mysterious saying mean…?” How much clearer could He have said it?!
There was one particular instance that hit me differently. It went like this:
Then Jesus said to them, “All of you will be made to stumble because of Me this night, for it is written: ‘I will strike the Shepherd, And the sheep of the flock will be scattered.’ “But after I have been raised, I will go before you to Galilee.” Peter answered and said to Him, “Even if all are made to stumble because of You, I will never be made to stumble.” Jesus said to him, “Assuredly, I say to you that this night, before the rooster crows, you will deny Me three times.” Peter said to Him, “Even if I have to die with You, I will not deny You!” And so said all the disciples.Matthew 26:31-35
They missed it.
They completely missed it.
Did you catch it?
Jesus said He was doing to die and they would scatter, yes, but He also said, and I quote: “But after I have been raised, I will go before you to Galilee.”
It wasn’t going to be the end. Jesus said He was going to be raised and He’d meet up with them in Galilee. But there is no response to that part. Just the bad part, the pride-wounding part, the scary part.
It makes me wonder. Like the disciples did in this interaction, do I fixate on the bad? Do I gloss over the entirety of what Jesus has said and only focus on how it hurts my pride, changes the way I live my life, or makes me uncomfortable? Or do I hear the whole thing — the beauty, the mercy, the compassion, the hope, and the joy?
I think we can sometimes have too much of a “take up your cross mindset,” where we act like Christianity is all cross and no Christ. But that’s not the Jesus of the Bible. There is humbling, crosses, pain, and discomfort, yes — but there is so much more.
I don’t know what Jesus has been teaching you lately. But pause and see if you’re focusing too much on the bad and not seeing all of the things He said. Knowing Jesus, He has a habit of appending hope and mercy and grace to just about everything.