After saying these things, he said to them, “Our friend Lazarus has fallen asleep, but I go to awaken him.” The disciples said to him, “Lord, if he has fallen asleep, he will recover.” Now Jesus had spoken of his death, but they thought that he meant taking rest in sleep. Then Jesus told them plainly, “Lazarus has died, and for your sake I am glad that I was not there, so that you may believe. But let us go to him.” So Thomas, called the Twin, said to his fellow disciples, “Let us also go, that we may die with him.” John 11:11-16
There are times when I think, how Jesus could put up with those disciples. They just never seem to get what he is saying. I mean they are right there with Him every day and they just don’t get it and here I am almost two thousand years later and Jesus seems fairly clear to me. Of course those two thousand years just might have a little to do with my understanding. It is easy to Monday morning quarterback. After all they say hindsight is twenty-twenty.
When we read the New Testament we have all those centuries of commentaries and we have God’s finished Word so understanding is a bit easier. But for the disciples, all that Jesus was teaching was new. Jesus brought a new way for the Jews to look at God. No longer was God this distant deity. Jesus was telling everyone that God wanted a relationship with them. He called God Father, in fact He called God Abba, daddy.
Here in a society that would not utter God’s name, one in which scribes when copying the scriptures would use a separate pen to write God’s name and then destroy the pen was Jesus calling God daddy. For a Jew that in itself was blasphemy. Jesus does this not once or twice but over and over. No wonder the authorities were out to silence Him. Here you have someone expounding very different ideas about how the people should live and act along with claiming oneness with God to the point of calling God Father.
It really should not shock us that the disciples often did not understand Jesus. Jesus was saying radical things. He was acting different that most teachers of the time. But the interesting thing is that everything that Jesus taught can be found in the Old Testament. Jesus just brought all these teachings into the light, a light that still shines as a beacon today.
Have a blessed day,