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,
Keith

Copyright 2018, J. Keith Broyles, All Rights Reserved

Author:

"The Pastor Ponders" is my attempt to share some of my thoughts. I often share what I am thinking with my dog "Bishop," but he keeps his thoughts to himself. He will even go to sleep sometimes while I am sharing my thoughts with him. The truth is, if it doesn't involve getting his ears scratched, his belly rubbed or some kind of treat, he really doesn't care. I will say this for him, he never argues with me or tells me I am wrong. So, I decided to share some of my thoughts with whoever might come across this blog in their ramblings around the Internet. Bishop and I live in Sweeny, Texas where I am the pastor of First United Methodist Church. I have served here for the past two years. For the past 27 years I have served United Methodist congregations throughout East Texas including rural Madison County (Elwood UMC), Lovelady (First UMC) and Kennard (Center Hill UMC), Canton (First UMC), rural Smith County (Mt. Sylvan UMC and Union Chapel UMC), Grapeland (First UMC), Tyler (Pleasant Retreat UMC), Santa Fe (Aldersgate UMC), Freeport (First UMC) and Oyster Creek (Oyster Creek UMC), Diboll (First UMC), and now Sweeny (First UMC). My wife Cindy and I have been married for over 40 years. We have two grown sons. Wayne and his wife Nikki and all our grandsons (Kaleb, Noah, and Jaxon) live in Southern California. Christopher and his wife Morgan and both our granddaughters (Jenna and Natalie) live in Tyler Texas. I enjoy preaching and all aspects of preaching from research to writing to the actual preaching event. I also love writing, reading, playing the guitar as well as a bit of drawing. I have spent quite a bit of time over the past two years working with paracord on various projects, mostly prayer ropes I usually give away. I sing bass with a local barbershop chorus called The Coastalaires. I have also recently begun doing a little wood carving. I also enjoy playing with Bishop, something he likes a great deal better than listening to my thoughts. I hold an Associate of Applied Science Degree in Business Data Processing, specializing in Microcomputers from San Jacinto College in Pasadena, Texas, a Bachelor of Science in Political Science with a minor in History from Sam Houston State University in Huntsville, TX, a Master of Divinity from Southern Methodist University in Dallas, TX and a Doctor of Ministry from Carolina University of Theology. When I was a student at Carolina, the school was in Iron Station North Carolina. They have since relocated to Manassas Virginia (Yeah, go figure, a school named Carolina geographically in Virginia). This blog is mostly devotional writing, but there are other things here too. Just about every week I will either post my sermon manuscript or a video of the worship service. On occasion, I will post something I see in society. Occasionally I write a short story, a poem, or a song and will post it here too. I will say this, my motivations for writing this blog are really selfish. I write it to get what I am thinking out of my head and onto something a bit more permanent. They say, after all, once something is on the internet it never really goes away. Still, I hope you enjoy reading it. And, should you desire, you can one-up Bishop and actually tell me what you think. Who knows, it might generate a bit of discussion between you and me and anyone else who might make their way here. With Joy and Thankfulness, Keith Sweeny, Texas May 2018

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