They Understood Nothing

Today’s Journey Through Scripture Readings: 2 Samuel 21-22; Luke 18:24-43

31 Jesus took the Twelve aside and said, “Look, we’re going up to Jerusalem, and everything written about the Human One by the prophets will be accomplished. 32  He will be handed over to the Gentiles. He will be ridiculed, mistreated, and spit on. 33  After torturing him, they will kill him. On the third day, he will rise up.” 34 But the Twelve understood none of these words. The meaning of this message was hidden from them and they didn’t grasp what he was saying. (Luke 18:31-34, Common English Bible).

Mark Twain once said, “The more you explain it, the more I don’t understand it.”

Niels Bohr said, “If quantum mechanics hasn’t profoundly shocked you, you haven’t understood it yet.” Um, no problem there Niels. I won’t argue your point. I don’t understand it.

Elbert Hubbard said, “He who does not understand your silence probably will not understand your words.”

William Howard Taft wrote, “Don’t write so that you can be understood. Write so that you can’t be misunderstood.”

Stephen Covey said, “Listen with the intent to understand, not the intent to reply.”

Albert Einstein once said, “If you can’t explain it simply, you don’t understand it well enough.”

Some of the authors of books I read in seminary needed to hear at least a few of these. Immanuel Kant, author of The Foundations of the Metaphysics of Morals would be number one on my list of people who need to talk to Einstein about his quote. I read the book ten times (short book) and I still didn’t understand what he was saying.

The disciples were like that too. I feel certain they didn’t understand quantum mechanics and many other concepts we live with today, some I understand and some I do not. I feel the same is true for you. Somewhere, someone is going to bring forth an understanding that most of the rest of us just are not going to get.

For the disciples, it was the one who can easily pull the wool over any of our eyes. God, who does understand quantum mechanics and is not, despite what Niels Bohr has to say, profoundly shocked by it, blocked the things Jesus was saying from their minds.

It is important for us to remember that the disciples were probably of a mindset, much like the rest of the Jews, that the Messiah, and they did understand that this would be Jesus, was going to be a militant. As such he would march into Jerusalem and throw the hated Romans out. He then would re-establish Israel as a world power and Jerusalem would once again be the capital. It would be really easy for the idea that Jesus would be killed to fly over their heads. They didn’t understand yet. In truth, they probably didn’t want to understand.

Things were about to happen. They would be things the disciples wouldn’t understand, at least not at the moment. But, three days later, just as Jesus was telling them in this lesson, everything would change. On the third day, they would see power like they had never known before. Thanks be to God.

Have a great day in the Lord.

With Joy and Thankfulness,

Copyright 2018, J. Keith Broyles, All Rights Reserved

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