World English Bible translation
9:30They went out from there, and passed through Galilee. He didn't want anyone to know it. 9:31 For he taught his disciples, and said to them, "The Son of Man is delivered up into the hands of men, and they will kill him; and when he is killed, on the third day he will rise again."
9:32But they didn't understand the saying, and were afraid to ask him.
Jesus had performed miracles throughout Galilee. He had preached the need for repentance and the coming of the Kingdom of God. He had miraculously fed people and raised the dead to life. The disciples had seen Jesus walk on the water and transfigured in glory. He had just healed a young boy of a mute spirit. In Today's Scriptures Jesus takes His disciples and begins heading towards Jerusalem. Although it does not mention the holy city of the Jews, this passage marks a transition in this gospel. From this point on, Jesus has His face turned toward Jerusalem.
He begins to teach all the disciples that soon He would be crucified and would rise again. All of the gospel writers share the position that Jesus knew His fate from the beginning of His ministry. Modern interpretation has attempted to find a development in the thinking of Jesus that led to a revelation somewhere in the middle of His ministry that He would be put to death. But, for centuries the tradition of the church, and certainly the position of the gospel writers, was that Jesus was fully aware from the very beginning that the Romans and the Jews would crucify him.
Jesus tells His disciples, "The Son of Man is delivered up into the hands of men, and they will kill him; and when he is killed, on the third day he will rise again." The way that this saying is phrased is very unusual. Jesus does not say that the Son of man WILL be delivered up. He says, "The Son of Man IS delivered up into the hands of menů" Jesus was delivered up into the hands of men from the time that He willing allowed Himself to be brought into this world of man. When the Word was made flesh He willingly surrendered Himself up to the authorities and power of this world. God protected Him until the appropriate time, but He was sent as a lamb to his slaughter.
Jesus spoke plainly with His disciples about His fate, but they could not understand Him. That a man could be raised from the dead was beyond their comprehension. Several of them had seen Jesus raise the daughter of the synagogue ruler after she had died. Even so, many of them probably reasoned that the girl had not really died but had only been revived from a stupor. Even those closest to Jesus did not understand the miracles that He performed.
Many times when we are assailed by doubts we want God to show us some kind of a miracle. We ask for some sign to help us in our faith. But, miracles and signs do not lead people to greater faith. These men had been with Jesus for a considerable time now and had seen great miracles and still they lacked understanding. If we are to grow in our faith and understanding it will only come through opening our hearts to the Spirit of God and asking Him to lead us. Yesterday we read where Jesus responded to the anguished father, who cried out, "I believe. Help me in my unbelief!" In the same way, God will lead us into a deeper understanding if we will only ask.
God is a mystery. His ways are beyond our understanding. But, through faith and obedience we can begin to understand what God is wanting from us. Are you willing to listen to God with a heart that is willing to believe? Are you willing to ask God to help you to understand His will for your life?
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