Mark 9:30-37 - They went on from there and passed through Galilee. And He (Jesus) did not want anyone to know, for He was teaching His disciples, saying to them, "The Son of Man is going to be delivered into the hands of men, and they will kill Him. And when He is killed, after three days He will rise." But they did not understand the saying and were afraid to ask Him.
Can you recall a time when you didn't understand something -- directions to a destination, something in class your teacher just reviewed, instructions your spouse gave about what to get at the grocery store? Go one step further: were you then afraid to ask for clarification out of fear of appearing inattentive or even dumb?
It's odd, isn't it? There seems to be something in us at times that shuns the idea of asking for help. Maybe we're worried we might look bad, you know, incapable of handling the task before us. Maybe we just don't like asking for help -- no matter how beneficial it would be to do so.
Well, apparently, the disciples could be a little "slow on the draw," when it came to grasping some of the things Jesus said -- no matter how explicit. Jesus says He's going to be turned over to those who want to do Him harm, and they will murder Him. But then, in the ultimate twist of fate, "He will rise." Was it they didn't understand, or they didn't want to understand this? After all, there could be implications in all this for them, too.
Logic would say after hearing this, the disciples would be on high alert and full panic mode. After all, they're coming off a three-year stint of hanging around with Jesus, being His crowd-control guys, running errands for Him, following His instructions, left and right. People who were familiar with Jesus were familiar with them because they were always together. It was potentially death by association -- and they knew that.
There may have been murmuring among the disciples: "What does this all have to do with us?" "I know Jesus isn't the most popular guy in the world with the chief priests and elders, but what He's talking about is over the top." "Did I hear right what He said: He's going to die? He's going to rise from the dead?"
At this point, maybe a question or two from the disciples to Jesus would have been in order.
Here, too, is where we can fall short when we do not take our concerns to God. When we're in the middle of some crisis that has us full of fear, we should "ask God, who gives generously to all without reproach, and it will be given" (James 1:5). This is the promise we have from the Heavenly Father made real in Jesus Christ.
He is there to hear us when we don't understand and give us courage when we are afraid to ask.
THE PRAYER: Dear Lord Jesus, when life has us uncertain and full of fear, remind us to ask You for help. In Your Name we pray. Amen.
This Daily Devotion was written by a contributing writer from Lutheran Hour Ministries.
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