Jesus Again Predicts His Death
32 They were on their way up to Jerusalem, with Jesus leading the way, and the disciples were astonished, while those who followed were afraid. Again he took the Twelve aside and told them what was going to happen to him.33 “We are going up to Jerusalem,” he said, “and the Son of Man will be betrayed to the chief priests and teachers of the law. They will condemn him to death and will hand him over to the Gentiles, 34 who will mock him and spit on him, flog him and kill him. Three days later he will rise.”
This is a short passage, but very significant when you look at it in light of the entire gospel narrative. Here we have Jesus telling the disciples in NO uncertain terms what is going to happen soon regarding his death and resurrection. You can’t really get a more succinct description of the crucifixion and resurrection than that, can you?
Why is this so important? It’s important because when you fast forward to the events after the resurrection, especially from the gospel of Luke, it seems like the disciples have not a single inkling that Jesus had risen! The women give their firsthand eyewitness testimony of having met the angel and having been told that Jesus had risen…and they simple disregarded this. Jesus starts walking with the disciples on the road to Emmaus, and the disciples fail to recognize him! They are utterly taken surprise by something they were told in detail would happen!
We do the exact same thing. We are told in detail about many things that may happen in our Christian life: that we may experience hardship and persecution for our faith; that God will sometimes use suffering to discipline us and make us stronger; that we may have to give up precious things when we follow Christ. We read and have heard it over and over, but when these circumstances actually come about in our lives, we are taken completely by surprise! “God, why are you making me suffer like this? I didn’t know I had to give this part of my life up to be your disciple!! What is going on???”
You see, reading Scripture is not enough. We have to actively digest it. We have to really listen to it. We even have to obey it! And I’m hoping that as you go through these devotionals, you realize that the way in which we read the Bible, as an active listener and doer, is as important as the act of reading itself.
1. Is there something in your life that you are consistently surprised by, but has been detailed in the Bible for you?
2. Why is it difficult for you to be an active/responsive reader of Scripture?
3. What do you think would help you be a more active/responsive reader of Scripture?