“But they understood none of these things”

Today in Luke 18 we read how Jesus “taking the twelve, he said to them, ‘See, we are going up to Jerusalem, and everything that is written about the Son of Man by the prophets will be accomplished. For he will be delivered over to the Gentiles and will be mocked and shamefully treated and spit upon. And after flogging him, they will kill him’” (verses 31-33).

Then comes the comment, “But they understood none of these things … they did not grasp what was said” (verse 34). This reminds us of the old saying, ‘We only hear what we want to hear’. We could add to that ‘We only read what we want to read’! So many imagine the phrase ‘immortal soul’ occurs in the Bible – but it doesn’t! Did you note what we read three days ago in Ezekiel 20:4,20? Of how many today can it be said, “they understood none of these things”?

Back to the words of Jesus, his final words to the disciples were, “… and on the third day he will rise”. Utterly wonderful! It was the absolute conviction in this – that kept Jesus in a mentally positive state of mind to complete his obedience to his Father. And what will keep us going, when the fulfilment of the words we will read in Luke 21, are unfolding before our eyes. Let us make sure we have “understood … these things”!

And what are these words we must make sure we “understand”? The words of Jesus are blunt! “There will be signs in sun and moon and stars, and on the earth distress of nations in perplexity because of the roaring of the sea and the waves, people fainting with fear and with foreboding … For the powers of the heavens will be shaken. And then they will see the Son of Man coming …” (21:25-27).

Let us make sure we absorb the prophetic words of scripture as fully as possible – so it will be true of us that it will be said of us, if we are alive at that time (and how soon now) that we “understood … these things”.