But while everyone was marveling at all that He was doing, He said to His disciples, 44 “Let these words sink into your ears; for the Son of Man is going to be delivered into the hands of men.” 45 But they did not understand this statement, and it was concealed from them so that they would not perceive it; and they were afraid to ask Him about this statement.
Jesus, in private, tells the disciples, “Listen up…”
It was an important conversation that He wanted to have with them. It was about the future. It was what He talked to Moses and Elijah about on the Mount of Transfiguration. It was a demonstration to them that nothing that was going to happen to Him and to them in the future was a surprise. It was planned out. He was in control.
He would be arrested, beaten, crucified, killed, and then three days later, resurrected by God.
During those three days, they would be without Him.
Their ideas about what the Kingdom of God was supposed to be would be shattered. Their ideas of who Jesus was were going to be stomped upon. Their faith would be shaken, and they would sit mourning in hiding for fear of the priests.
So Christ’s words are those of comfort. Things would get bad, but it shouldn’t be a surprise. He knows about it in advance. And He’s telling them that even in the darkest situation they would yet encounter, that He’s in control.
Of course, that goes back to the question I had the other day. Why a sovereign God would still allow these dark times to happen to us.
I still don’t know. But in this particular case, Jesus knew He would have to face death for our greater good, and He takes the time to try and tell His disciples to be prepared. To know that He knows the future, to trust Him in the worst times, and that it would get better.
They just didn’t get it.
Maybe they thought Jesus was having a bad day. Maybe they thought He was wrong. Maybe they just dismissed His words because it clashed so much with their notions of the Kingdom of God that the King would have to die, that they couldn’t hear Him.
But they didn’t get it. And, this time, no one bothered asking questions to find out the answers. Maybe they were afraid of the answers. The disciples had a chance to ask for more details and more clarification, but they didn’t because they were afraid of His reaction or afraid that He would squash their ambitions or doctrines.
My own thoughts, despite my misgivings, is that it’s okay to question and ask questions of God. God isn’t fooled by our verbal silence. He knows when we question His nature or have doubts, and it’s better to face them and express them even if we never get the answer we’re looking for, because to live any other way is to live a dishonest life. And God desires truth within our innermost being.