In the Gospel of Luke this week, for the third time Jesus will tell the twelve that he has come as a suffering Savior, and once again they just won’t be able to take it in.
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. (Luke 18:31–34)
The thought that the long awaited Messiah would subject himself to this measure of shame and suffering was inconceivable to them. It just didn’t fit their expectations. They didn’t grasp what was said.
There’s another way we can fail to grasp what Jesus said, though. From our vantage point, we can look back and see just how this mystery has unfolded and we may have the opposite problem of the twelve. Perhaps we are so familiar with the gospel story, that the idea that the everlasting Son of Man would willingly put himself through this abuse and scorn to save us has lost its wonder. “Of course, Jesus went to the cross to pay for my sins,” we think. Do we really grasp what that means?
But we can also be like the twelve. We can still measure Jesus against our own expectations in other ways and, when he doesn’t match up, assume he needs to adjust and not us.
Immediately after seeing the twelve still blinded to who Jesus really is and what he’s come to do, Luke will introduce us to a blind man who actually sees something about Jesus’ true nature that the seeing crowds around him don’t. And his faith will be commended.
This Sunday Randy Gruendyke will be preaching Luke 18:31-43 and Kenny Clark will be leading our sung worship. Would you pray for each as they prepare? And in light of this theme of blindness and sight, let’s ask “the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of glory, to give us the Spirit of wisdom and of revelation in our knowledge of him, having the eyes of our hearts enlightened, that we may know what is the hope to which he has called you, what are the riches of his glorious inheritance in the saints (Eph. 1:17–18).
See you Sunday, Grace. Come hungry!
SONG OF THE WEEK
Spread His Fame by Shai Linne (live at Grace Ev Free 2010)
All praise to the name of the Savior who reigns
He’s taken our blame, embraced all our shame
He’s raised from the grave so His fame we proclaim
“Salvation by grace through faith in His name!”