Archive for August 27th, 2008

Over My Head

Wednesday, August 27th, 2008

Today’s scripture: Luke 18:31-34 (ESV-text and audio) (KJV) (The Message)

As you read, consider: What might God be saying to me? Summarize your thoughts in a sentence or two.

My thoughts (David Zier):

Jesus tells his disciples that they are going to Jerusalem where he will eventually be killed as the prophets wrote. Jesus speaks plainly, but they do not understand or grasp what he is saying.

This is not the first time the disciples did not understand Jesus. After Jesus fed thousands of people, he warned the disciples to watch out for the yeast of the Pharisees. The disciples concluded that Jesus literally meant for them to not buy any bread from a Pharisee — but they misunderstood the message. Jesus proclaimed himself the bread of life, and said that people must eat his flesh and drink his blood if they want to have eternal life. His disciples called it “a hard teaching,” and they grumbled about it because they thought it was strange. Jesus criticized the Pharisee’s obsession with ritual cleanness, yet the disciples asked Jesus to explain what he meant. The examples go on and on.

A lot of what Jesus teaches us does not necessarily become understood and ingrained into our being quickly, or become a part of our discipleship walk easily, or automatically transform us in the spur of the moment. The disciples were with Jesus during his ministry on earth, yet even they could not grasp all of the teaching.

How long had the disciples been with Jesus yet continued to be stumped by what he taught! They understood only a fraction of what he said, and yet they continued to follow him. Their faith was not perfect, but it was enough to keep them going.

Some people undergo a conversion experience that is powerful and quickly transforming. Some of us take more time to form and grow in relationship with God, seeking guidance from the Spirit for Christ’s transforming power to work in us. I find comfort in the these examples of the disciples, because they had trouble understanding Jesus and incorporating his teaching, yet Jesus did not give up on them.

Seeking God and having a relationship with God is how this transforming power of Jesus and his teachings bring about conversion in our life. God will be with us every step of the way.

Thought for the day: I know I don’t understand it all — but am I seeking to understand and live out more of Jesus’ teachings? Am I allowing the Spirit to guide me toward transformation?

We encourage you to include a time of prayer with this reading. If you need a place to get started, consider the guidelines on the How to Pray page.

"Be still, and know that I am God." Psalm 46:10
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