I’ve been reading through the gospels and in Luke 18, I got to verse 34 and I found myself asking, “why?”
Jesus had been up front and exceedingly clear with his disciples throughout the book. Yet even when he told them exactly what was about to happen in Jerusalem regarding His passion, they failed to grasp it. Scripture says, “They understood none of these things. This saying was hidden from them, and they did not grasp what was said.” (Luke 18:34, HCSB)
But why? Would not they have had less fear or anxiety if they had known and understood the plan?
As I pondered this, I had to ask some deep questions on the nature of free will. What evidence do I have that given specific information, the disciples would’ve made better choices?
And I had to come back to Peter’s denial. Jesus warned Peter that he would passionately and emphatically deny his Lord, 3 times! And Peter refused to accept that and assured Jesus that he would follow him unto death if he had to, but he would NEVER deny Jesus… And we know how that turned out.
“Immediately a rooster crowed a second time, and Peter remembered wheb Jesus had spoken the word to him, ‘Before the rooster crows twice, you will deny Me three times.’ When he thought about it, he began to weep.” (Mark 14:72, HCSB)
Even knowing what was to come, Peter, when faced with the choice between aligning himself with Jesus and following him unto death, denied any knowledge of Jesus.
Judas, in the same way, even when Jesus warned the disciples that one of them would betray Him, proceeded to plot with the Jewish leadership for Jesus’ arrest. Why?
The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately wicked: who can know it? I the LORD search the heart, I try the reins, even to give every man according to his ways, and according to the fruit of his doings.Jeremiah 17:9-10 KJV
What is it about our human fallibility that even when faced with the truth, we fail to act upon what we know? We know that things like smoking and drinking alcohol are detrimental to our health… And yet, “Nationally, the average monthly e-cigarette sales rate as summed across all product types sold increased by 132% during this timeframe [2016-2017]” according to the CDC, “Smoking-related illness in the United States costs more than $300 billion each year.”
What does Scripture say?
“For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways,” declares the Lord. “As the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways and my thoughts than your thoughts.Isaiah 55:8-9 NIV
Ultimately, I am not God. If I were– Paul covered that in Corinthians– I wouldn’t need Jesus and my life would be perfection. As it stands, I do need Jesus. And the fact that He holds all the unknowns my family is facing right now and that He has promised to be faithful gives me hope and peace even though part of me is screaming inside wondering what comes next.
My prayer is that God will keep my eyes fixed firmly on Christ; on establishing a Christ-like atmosphere in my home, and on doing the next right thing until He gives me more information. My prayer is also for wisdom and discernment to hear and obey His voice as He leads me to love and serve my husband and to disciple my children. So that whether I do or I don’t know what comes next, I can say with sincerity and genuineness of heart, “Therefore, we may boldly say: The Lord is my helper; I will not be afraid. What can man do to me?” (Hebrews 13:6)