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  • July 11, 2014 - Reflections

    By Jean S. Horner
    The other day while walking down a corridor in a public building, I saw what appeared to be someone walking toward me. On coming closer, I found it was my own reflection in a huge mirror. For a moment it frightened me. Somehow a full-length reflection of one’s self is a startling thing. ...

On Your Mark by Dr. George O. Wood


Refreshed and Confused

They left that place and passed through Galilee. Jesus did not want anyone to know where they were, because he was teaching his disciples. He said to them, “The Son of Man is going to be betrayed into the hands of men. They will kill him, and after three days he will rise.” But they did not understand what he meant and were afraid to ask him about it. (Mark 9:30-32, NIV)

I imagine the nine disciples were glad to get out of there. While Jesus had been with the “inner three” on the Mount of Transfiguration for a week, the disciples left behind had to deal with feelings of their own about exclusion, along with the crowds pestering them as to where Jesus was. The tipping point in their difficult week had been their inability to cast the demon out of a boy.

Like them, we do leave places. Even difficult places. Nothing stays the same forever. It passes. Jesus was with them again. We sense also He is with us again. So, we go on.

They “passed through Galilee.” That means from their starting point of the area of Caesarea Philippi they headed in a southwesterly direction down from what we know today as the Golan Heights toward their destination of Capernaum (9:33). During this time Jesus skirted the population centers so that He could have time alone to continue disclosure of the key element of His mission — His approaching death and resurrection.

We all need a break at one time or another to recharge our batteries. Jesus was providing that as He pulled the disciples apart for a season from the crowds that always looked for Him. But Jesus had more on His mind than giving them a break. He had to get them ready for events that would shortly happen to Him.

After Peter had confessed Him as the Christ (8:27-30), Jesus began to teach them about His approaching passion. Now, after the transfiguration, He picked up on this theme a second time. The phrase “He was teaching” tells us that this was no two-minute conversation. Day after day, He attempted to focus them on what was coming.

In this season of teaching Jesus added details not given earlier. He used the word “betrayed.” The betrayal will be “into the hands of sinners.” In the earlier announcement following Peter’s confession, Jesus said He would be rejected by the religious leaders. Now the list is expanded to “sinners” — Gentiles such as Pilate and the Roman soldiers who would kill Him. Absent from both the first and the second announcement is the manner used to kill Him. Jesus saved that detail for later.

It’s very clear the disciples weren’t getting this. When they began to follow Jesus, they had dreams of the dawn of the Messianic Age in which Jesus would rule the world and evict Rome from the land of Israel. They planned to be the administrative leaders of a powerful political kingdom.

Now, Jesus was telling them things they didn’t want to hear — that He was going to be killed. The “after three days He will rise” is simply beyond their comprehension.

Sometimes we block difficult lessons the Lord wants us to learn. Like the disciples, we don’t ask questions because we really don’t want to deal with the answers. We become confused. The good thing is this: The Lord is walking with us, and He is never confused!

A prayer of response
Lord Jesus, some things are hard to digest. We don’t get it the first time around. But we’re grateful as we continue walking with You that, in time, we will understand it all.

GEORGE O. WOOD is general superintendent of the Assemblies of God.


On Your Mark

Previous Years

2013 On Your Mark

2012 On Your Mark

2011 On Your Mark

2010 On Your Mark

2009 On Your Mark

2008 On Your Mark

Podcasts of On Your Mark are available in video and audio.
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