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And taking the twelve, he said to them, “See, we are going up to Jerusalem, and everything that is written about the Son of Man by the prophets will be accomplished. For he will be delivered over to the Gentiles and will be mocked and shamefully treated and spit upon. And after flogging him, they will kill him, and on the third day he will rise.” But they understood none of these things. This saying was hidden from them, and they did not grasp what was said. [1]

Source: Luke 18:31-34

Jesus challenges us to listen. Frequently he commands that if we have ears then we should be able to hear. Not only should we listen but we should listen carefully.

  • Jesus knew what would happen.
  • Jesus would suffer.
  • Jesus would die.
  • Jesus would rise again into an incorruptible body.

Am I listening? His disciples couldn’t make any sense out of what Jesus was saying. It was not the first time. Jesus talks with me. Many days, I must admit, I can’t figure it out. Jesus is clear. Jesus doesn’t mince his words. I just need to take him at his word and stop the non-believing.

For example, Jesus is clear that I will suffer. I get upset that I am and question God. I can choose to see what God isn’t doing or what God is doing. God is in a good mood. All that I am going through is for my benefit. I need to get with God’s goal for me.

Despite the clarity of Jesus’ passion-and-resurrection prediction, Luke presents the ignorance of the Twelve concerning its meaning as total (“none of these things”). By contrast, such ignorance enhances again Jesus’ prescience and the coming accomplishment of the prophets’ writings.

Luke’s mentioning the ignorance twice (“they understood none of these things” and “they weren’t comprehending the things being spoken”) adds to this enhancement. Luke excuses the ignorance of the Twelve on the ground that “this saying [of Jesus] was hidden from them.” He doesn’t say who hid it, or even why it was hidden. So, the accent falls on the Twelve’s being faultless in the matter.[2]

[1] The Holy Bible: English Standard Version. (2016). (Lk 18:31–34). Wheaton, IL: Crossway Bibles.

[2] Gundry, R. H. (2010). Commentary on the New Testament: Verse-by-Verse Explanations with a Literal Translation (p. 314). Peabody, MA: Hendrickson Publishers.