I’ve been a believer for decades, but I think I’m sometimes still clueless when it comes to understanding the full scope and power of Jesus’ suffering, death, and resurrection. The disciples were clueless, too. Take a look at the scenario on the road to Jerusalem.
Jesus and the 12 are walking together, talking about upcoming events. Jesus says, “Hey guys, listen up. The Son of Man will be betrayed to the leading priest and the teachers of religious law. They will sentence him to die and hand him over to the Romans. They will mock him, spit on him, flog him with a whip, and kill him, but after three days he will rise again” (Mark 10:33,34).
Those are heavy words. You’d think they might have stopped the disciples dead in their tracks, but not so. Instead, James and John approach Jesus and change the subject. “Teacher, we want you to do us a favor. When you sit on your glorious throne, we want to sit in places of honor next to you, one on your right and the other on your left” (v. 37). Their response is akin to saying, “Yeah, okay. Whatever. By the way, we need You to do something for us.”
Part of me reads this story and says, “Duh? What were these guys thinking? Did they not hear what Jesus said? Did they not care about the suffering He was about to endure? How could they be so consumed by themselves that they missed what Jesus was about to do for them?” And then my finger points back to me.
If I fully understood the scope of what Jesus did for me, I would start each day on my face before Him expressing gratitude for His mercy and love. Instead, I often start by pouring out my requests for His help with this or that: “Thanks, Jesus, for dying for me. By the way, could You please provide money for this month’s mortgage? And while You’re at it, how about dealing with so-and-so? And by the way, I’m tired of rain, so would You please send sunshine soon?”
If I fully understood the scope of what Jesus did for me, I would also embrace a more confident outlook toward my circumstances. Jesus’ words He will rise again would infuse me with strength to face anything with the knowledge of His invincibility at work on my behalf. So long, fear.
Life’s busyness and personal interests can consume us if we let them. Perhaps we’d do well to pause and ponder Jesus’ words to His disciples. Before peppering Him with our wants, let’s thank Him for enduring pain and death on our behalf, and for promising us eternal victory through His resurrection.
Can you relate to my cluelessness?