30 They left that place and passed through Galilee. Jesus did not want anyone to know where they were, 31 because he was teaching his disciples. He said to them, “The Son of Man is going to be delivered into the hands of men. They will kill him, and after three days he will rise.” 32 But they did not understand what he meant and were afraid to ask him about it.
As I read this, all I can think is how confused the disciples must have been. Most of them had given up everything – their jobs, friends, being close to their families – to follow Jesus in different areas, mostly surrounded by crowds of people, watching and listening as Jesus taught, healed & proclaimed truth. But now, Jesus changes the routine. He has taken them aside somewhere quiet and private and starts to explain that he will be killed by men, and rise three days later.
It’s so easy for those of us who read these verses to interpret exactly what Jesus is saying – we already know how this one ends and what happens next. But for the disciples, without any hindsight or understanding of what was about to happen, this would have been utterly perplexing. These were men who had given up everything for the cause of Jesus, who were fuelled by every word he spoke. And now they had no idea what he was talking about, but were too scared to ask. Were they scared because they thought Jesus would be upset with them for asking, or for not already understanding? Or did they simply fear what the answer would be?
How often do we find ourselves in the disciple’s position? For many of us, the journey of following Jesus is a mixed bag of abundant blessing amidst great personal sacrifice. And like the disciples, we often don’t have the luxury of knowing what comes next. I am encouraged that when I am in a situation where I don’t understand what Jesus is telling me, I can ask without fear. And even if I don’t understand or particularly like the answer, my prayer is that I would continue to follow Christ wherever he may be leading.
Jesus thank you that you want us to come to you, to ask questions and seek your ways and your will. Help us to place your ways above our own, and to follow as you lead us, when we like where we are headed, and even when we don’t.
Written by Madeline Tarasenko