By: Jay Forth
Readings: Habakkuk 3:2-15; Luke 18:31-34; Psalm 20
“Then he took the twelve aside and said to them, ‘See, we are going up to Jerusalem, and everything that is written about the Son of Man by the prophets will be accomplished. For he will be handed over to the Gentiles; and he will be mocked and insulted and spat upon.
After they have flogged him, they will kill him, and on the third day he will rise again.’ But they understood nothing about all these things; in fact, what he said was hidden from them, and they did not grasp what was said.” After Jesus explained to his disciple their upcoming journey to Jerusalem and his impending suffering, the disciples stood there with blank faces. The passage states that “[the disciples] understood nothing about all these things; in fact, what he said was hidden from them, and they did not grasp what was said.” Even though we might have heard the Gospel events many times, for the first disciples this was a strange story. Why would these things happen? What was Jesus planning? What would happen to them?
From our perspective, it is possible to accuse the disciples of being dimwitted and cowardly. However, in the midst of their all too human behavior, the disciples exhibited courageous solidarity. Jesus’ ominous words spoke of the suffering he would undergo. And yet, the disciples moved forward with Jesus toward an uncertain future. Despite their failings aside, the disciples’ step toward the unknown alongside one who would suffer is an act of faith.
In our own difficult times, the future is not always clear. We live among people who are vulnerable to violence, imprisonment, and death. And, despite our best efforts, we cannot know for certain what to do, what will happen, or how much we all stand to lose. Nonetheless, instead of shrinking from the unknown, may we have the faith to travel with Jesus toward Jerusalem and with those among us toward struggle, and, prayerfully, liberation.
Loving God, give us the faith to walk the difficult and uncertain road with those who struggle. Grant us the courage to remain alongside those who have so much to lose; to journey toward hope and resurrection. Amen.