“The disciples weren’t sure what was happening next, why should you be?”
That’s what I asked those who joined us last week for our Maundy Thursday Service to celebrate and remember the Last Supper – the Passover meal that Jesus shared with His disciples just before being arrested. We used no bulletin; no list of what was coming next.
We read Scripture with the advantage of hindsight but forget that the disciples were living it out moment-by-moment. Details that are crystal clear to us were not so obvious to them. I think that’s why they were so shocked at Jesus’ arrest and crucifixion.
Sure they grew up hearing the prophecies of old about how the Messiah must suffer and die. Sure they spent three years doing life with Jesus and heard Him speak of His impending death – on more than one occasion. And yet they were caught off guard!
John does admit that there was more that Jesus did than what we have recorded (John 20:30). Maybe He did pull them aside and lay it all out for them with something like:
“Listen guys – I’m going to be arrested, run through a mock trial, tortured beyond recognition and then crucified. But don’t sweat it because three days later I will rise from the dead just like you saw happen with Lazarus. So go with the flow because it all turns out OK in the end.”
Is it possible? Sure! Is it likely? No! Why didn’t Jesus warn them? Why didn’t He make it easier to understand so that they wouldn’t get so distraught? In a word…
He was growing their faith! If they’d known everything that was going to happen, that everything was going to be alright, they wouldn’t have been stretched and grown in their trust of God. Not knowing where circumstances are headed and still trusting God to be in control requires faith.
Jesus was preparing to unleash them on the world to carry out His kingdom agenda. They were going to be used by God to spread the good news of His grace and truth; and that would require great faith.
So what circumstance of life is God using right now in your life to grow your faith?