Have you ever scheduled something way in advance? 6 months or more? Maybe a surgery or a vacation? If it was 6 months or more away, what were your thoughts and actions? What were your thoughts and actions like at about 3 to 4 months out? Somewhere in the following months is a turning point. More and more of your thoughts and actions are directed toward getting ready for the upcoming event. Your anxiety level increases.
Here we see a turning point in Jesus’ ministry and in the disciples. Jesus and His disciples have spent a lot of time in the region of Galilee and if you read ahead, they will soon head to Jerusalem and to the cross. Jesus is wanting to make sure His disciples understand who He is and what is going to happen to Him. Mark 9:30-31 tells us that Jesus doesn’t want anyone to know where they were going. He doesn’t want His disciples to be distracted because they needed to concentrate on what He was teaching them. This is the third time Jesus tells them what is going to happen to Him.
- And he began to teach them that the Son of Man must suffer many things and be rejected by the elders and the chief priests and the scribes and be killed, and after three days rise again. – Mark 8:31 (ESV)
- And how is it written of the Son of Man that he should suffer many things and be treated with contempt? – Mark 9:12b (ESV)
This time, Jesus tells them that He is going to be delivered into the hands of men. He will not be delivered into the hands of devils, but the hands of men – men who should have love and compassion toward someone who came to redeem and save them.
Each time Jesus tells of His death, He tells of His Resurrection. This should have taken the grief of it from the disciples. Back in Mark 8:32-33, we see Peter’s response to this news:
And he said this plainly. And Peter took him aside and began to rebuke him. But turning and seeing his disciples, he rebuked Peter and said, “Get behind me, Satan! For you are not setting your mind on the things of God, but on the things of man.” – Mark 8:32-33 (ESV)
Our current text may be the turning point for the disciples:
But they did not understand the saying, and were afraid to ask him. – Mark 9:32 (ESV)
This verse tells us they were afraid to ask. They may not have wanted to ask because they may have been starting to understand what Jesus was saying but didn’t want to face the reality of what was going to happen to Him. Many of us are the same way. We remain ignorant because we are ashamed or afraid to ask.
What does this mean for us?
1. There needs to be a turning point in our lives when we understand what God is telling us.
- The light bulb comes on
- The “aha” moment
2. Then we need to do. To do what? That will be different for each one of us. Maybe you need to…
- Accept Jesus as your own personal Savior
- Be a part of a small group
- Minister to others
- Seek God
- Get on your knees and pray