Scripture Reading: Mark 10:25-35
They were on the road, going up to Jerusalem, and Jesus was walking ahead of them; they were amazed, and those who followed were afraid. He took the twelve aside again and began to tell them what was to happen to him, saying, ‘See, we are going up to Jerusalem, and the Son of Man will be handed over to the chief priests and the scribes, and they will condemn him to death; then they will hand him over to the Gentiles; they will mock him, and spit upon him, and flog him, and kill him; and after three days he will rise again.’ –Mark 10:25-35
In reading this scripture I flashed back on the times I have been on tours following a guide through places I have never been before in countries with languages I did not speak. The guide in Turkey last year carried a large maroon and white umbrella, which he would hold high in the air when we walked through thick throngs of people. We were responsible for keeping our eye on that umbrella.
Jesus is preparing his disciples for a reality they are not yet able to comprehend. Denial is often the first stage of grief. Their reported fear indicates they understood his words but there is a difference in understanding words and responding to them appropriately. Most people understand what they are being told about not texting while driving; it may take a close call or a friend’s accident for them to internalize the lesson and curb their behavior. But what were the disciples to do anyway? Jesus’ death was a done deal and he was walking straight toward it.
Jesus’ words were most important to them after the fact. So important that they recorded them for us to read and apply to our lives. We are blessed by their stories as we struggle to make the kingdom of God real in our world today. Jesus’ lesson is important. We are called to walk forward with our eyes on his umbrella and all will be well.
Prayer: Jesus our Lord and Savior, nurture us until we fully comprehend the depth of your love and in that comprehension empower us to follow in your path as we lead in the world today. Amen.
All scriptures are quoted from the New Revised Standard Version Bible: Anglicized Edition, copyright 1989, 1995, Division of Christian Education of the National Council of Churches of Christ in the United States of American. Used by permission. All rights reserved.