The Human One’s announcement that he will die just as all humans die proved too much for his disciples to comprehend. In Luke’s Gospel, three times Jesus is recorded as predicting his death and three times the disciples simply cannot conceive of such happening to the Human One. Two of the accounts come close to the start of Jesus’ long journey to Jerusalem (Luke 9:51-19:27). The first prediction is worded like this:
He said, “The Human One must suffer many things and be rejected—by the elders, chief priests, and the legal experts—and be killed and be raised on the third day.” (Luke 9:22 CEB)
Not a single word of response is recorded as coming from the disciples.
Then there is the Human One’s second prediction.
While everyone was marveling at everything he was doing, Jesus said to his disciples, “Take these words to heart: the Human One is about to be delivered into human hands.” (Luke 9:43b-44 CEB)
As to the disciple’s reaction, this time we’re told they remained silent and exactly why they were silent.
They didn’t understand this statement. Its meaning was hidden from them so they couldn’t grasp it. And they were afraid to ask him about it. (Luke 9:44-45 CEB)
The Human One’s third prediction comes close to the end of his journey to Jerusalem.
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. He will be handed over to the Gentiles. He will be ridiculed, mistreated, and spit on. After torturing him, they will kill him. On the third day, he will rise up.” (Luke 18:31-33 CEB)
And once again we’re told that the disciples were clueless.
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 18:34 CEB)
The Human One, the one born to deliver many, was also born to die.
We should pray.
Father in heaven, in the name of Jesus I thank you for delivering me from the fear of death. Knowing the Human One precedes me there and trusting his victory over the grave, I now have confidence that you will see me through the same. As you overcome death through him, overcome my life so that my life becomes pure praise to you. Your ways are clearly not my ways and your way of thinking is so very far beyond mine. Where there is cluelessness in me, let there be faith. Amen.
Question: when do you find faith most challenged to well up within you, when you contemplate your life or your death?