Mark 9:32 (ESV): 32 But they did not understand the saying, and were afraid to ask him.
Mark records three times that Jesus foretells his death. This was the disciples’ response after Jesus told them the second time that he would be killed. It didn’t make sense to them, but more importantly, they didn’t want to consider the truth, the implications, of what he said.
Interestingly, immediately after this foretelling the disciples got into an argument about who was greatest in God’s kingdom. In Mark 10 we find the 3rd time Jesus foretold his death. That was immediately followed by James and John seeking high position in God’s kingdom.
The disciples were not the first nor the last to be confused by God’s words and actions, nor were they the last. How many times today do people walk away from God – leave the Bible study, Sunday School, or congregational worship time – confused and frustrated, not because anything was “wrong” with the teaching or preaching of scripture, but because their hearts were not willing to consider the countercultural precepts of God’s kingdom? How many times deben today do people walk away from God because he doesn’t make sense to them?
For the disciple of Jesus, we must step into our fear, open our mouths and ask… and then be willing to hear and obey.
Fear traps us in the comfort and safety of the known and denies us the opportunity of experiencing God deeply.
Heavenly Father, may I choose to leap into the unknown as I follow your Son. May I not shrink back in fear or confusion but continue to follow you humbly with full trust. In Jesus’ name, Amen.