Luke 18.31-34

And taking the twelve, he said to them, “Behold, we are going up to Jerusalem, and everything that is written of this son of Adam by the prophets will be accomplished. For he will be delivered to the Gentiles, and will be mocked and shamefully treated and spit upon. They will scourge him and kill him; and on the third day he will rise.”

But they understood none of these things; this saying was hid from them, and they did not grasp what was said.


One response

  1. I don’t know which texts Jesus would have understood in quite this way, or whether he’s being quoted accurately in this passage — The Christians who later put these gospels together had pretty free ways, both of quoting and interpreting, ie as for example seeing Isaiah’s prediction of a child to be born close to his own time as a pointer to Jesus’ birth, to a virgin, yet.

    That is: Before Jesus’ death (as this says) his followers did not see anything in the Hebrew Bible they knew as an indication that he was to die soon or be raised from the dead.

    Afterwards, they interpreted that death and resurrection as their primary reason for believing that Jesus was, in fact, the Messiah. As NT Wright points out, this is very odd, given the lack of evidence that anyone, prior to Jesus’ death, had expected the Messiah to do any such thing.

    At this point in the story, Jesus is popularly recognized as a prophet. (I myself have a notion that he had also been annointed de jure King of Israel by John the Baptist, but there would be obvious reasons not to make that overtly public. In any case the people around him do have hopes, whatever form these might have taken.)

    Certainly he has gathered unfavorable attention from the Authorities, both political and religious, and is on his way to Jerusalem for a major confrontation. Does it take a prophet to see the likely outcome of this? His disciples, having seen God at work in his activities so far, have expectations that the same miraculous momentum is going to hold. It had better!

    I think it safe to say that Jesus sees the form these events are taking, and does not feel the same optimism. Trust in God is not the same as an expectation that God will do things the same way we would.

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