September 18

Mark 9:30-32

“But they did not understand what he was saying and were afraid to ask him.” vs. 32

Sometimes we imagine Jesus to have been like a kind and gentle pastor, a leader who could warm our hearts with a smile, and who we could have come to at any time with any questions or concerns. That’s a nice thought and we are indeed blessed when we meet such persons, Unfortunately that description doesn’t fit the Jesus we meet in the gospels. The gospel writers don’t say that he is inaccessible to people in need–in fact, we read that folks were regularly crowding around and even making demands. But Mark reports that the disciples, those presumably closest to him, often didn’t understand what he said, and were afraid to ask him questions. In other words he was an enigma to them. They sensed the divine presence in him but didn’t quite know what he was up to. His parables seemed clear, but there was more to them than met the ear. Jesus was and is more than an answerer of questions, more than a teacher. As the gospel writer John put it, “(he was) the Way, the Truth, and the Life.” And the disciples were baffled! And so are we! Think of it! We who aspire to be disciples of Jesus are ultimately called not to ask questions, but to be answers. And if we really are disciples, as people encounter us, they will in fact see and experience Christ. And that’s the scariest thought of all!

Thought for the Day: To what question am I the answer?

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