I can remember when I was first taught coordinate geometry at school. I was totally lost regarding what the teacher was talking about. It was not until I had a moment of insight and everything suddenly came together and it was all so easy to understand. My biggest problem was learning to allow letters to substitute for numbers. For some reason or another, my mind refused to contemplate this suggestion and I was having all sorts of difficulties until I could overcome the blockage.

So often in the Gospels the disciples or apostles fail to understand what Jesus is trying to tell them. This is not the fault of Jesus. It is usually some sort of blockage in the heart or mind of the listener that causes this to happen. Here I think the problem is that they have a set concept of what the Messiah will be like and what He will do and Jesus is just not fitting into those categories! It would be so much easier for them if Jesus had come as a mighty ruler in the image of King David. Then they would have known how to react.

When we approach the Scriptures and the prophecies of Jesus’ passion and death we do not have this problem. We do not have any preset ideas to the contrary. In fact, we have probably grown up seeing crucifixes in our houses and so the concept of Jesus on the cross is quite familiar to us.

Therefore we need to be little merciful before we judge the disciples for being too stubborn to understand what Jesus is telling them. Anyone who has worked in a cross-cultural environment will be able to tell you multitudes of stories of misunderstandings and other sorts of difficulties. Let us pray for the grace of insight into the truth and also for patience and mercy as we try to relate this understanding to those who are having a difficult time grasping it.

Have I ever experienced difficulty in trying to explain something to someone and not being able to do it? What was my response? How did I try to overcome the difficulty in comprehension?

Lord Jesus, I am sure that there are many times that I have misunderstood what you wanted me to do. Thank you for your patient perseverance with me. Grant me the grace to understand more readily in the future.