Choosing Blindness: Luke 18:31-34

Focus Passage: Luke 18:31-34 (NIV)

 31 Jesus took the Twelve aside and told them, “We are going up to Jerusalem, and everything that is written by the prophets about the Son of Man will be fulfilled. 32 He will be handed over to the Gentiles. They will mock him, insult him, spit on him, flog him and kill him. 33 On the third day he will rise again.”

 34 The disciples did not understand any of this. Its meaning was hidden from them, and they did not know what he was talking about.

Read Luke 18:31-34 in context and/or in other translations on!

There were numerous times that Jesus tried to warn the disciples about His upcoming death, but in this passage, we see a very interesting insight that other gospels don’t include: “The disciples did not understand any of this. Its meaning was hidden from them, and they did not know what he was talking about.” (v. 34)

Luke’s gospel notes that Jesus’ closest followers miss the plain words Jesus was trying to share with them. This is sad, because had they understood – or at the very least asked some clarifying questions –, the crucifixion weekend would have gone a whole lot differently. In a strange sort of way, this open admission of all the gospel writers that none of the disciples understood Jesus’ plain words is a strong evidence that this is history writing and not fiction: If you are creating a rumor about someone that you want to last beyond your death, you would probably want to paint yourself as the “lone” hero – as the only one who stuck by Jesus when everyone else runs away.

Perhaps this is why Luke included this line. He wanted to emphasize Jesus’ warning and honesty with the disciples and their blindness/deafness to what Jesus was trying to tell them. There are two reasons the disciples may have missed understanding this:

  1. They were so caught up in their preconceived ideas about what the Messiah would do when He arrived that they chose (perhaps subconsciously) to ignore anything Jesus said that was contrary to this idea.

  2. God hid the meaning of this from them. Hiding the meaning would humble the prideful and arrogant disciples when the events actually do happen, and hiding the meaning would emphasize the significance of their need for Jesus and the Holy Spirit after Jesus had been raised back to life.

In my mind, both of these reasons could be equally valid – which leads us into our big idea for this entry:

Am I missing a truth God wants to share with me because I am choosing to be blind/deaf to something new?

The best way to answer this question is through prayer and reading the Bible. By humbly praying and reading, we are drawn closer to God, and when we are close to God, we are able to hear and understand Him better than when we are further away.

This thought was inspired by studying the Walking With Jesus “Reflective Bible Study” package. To discover insights like this in your own study time, click here and give Reflective Bible Study a try today!

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