Monday, March 23, 2015
The Blind Disciples
Like us, the disciples did not always get it right. In fact, they could be just as little and as petty as anyone we have ever encountered, or even seen in the mirror. On that final Thursday night before the cross, they gathered in an upstairs room for the Passover. It would not be a normal Passover for any of them as Jesus transformed that meal which spoke of their heritage into a meal which spoke of their future. In a new way Jesus broke bread and poured the wine. Once again He told them of His sacrificial death. When it was done the Word says, "A dispute also arose among them as to which one of them was to be regarded as the greatest." (Luke 22:34)
It was an argument that had been going on for a long time. They were hardly down the Mount of Transfiguration when it started. Perhaps, it had been brewing even earlier. Maybe what got it going on this particular occasion was Peter, James, and John talking too much about the mountain top experience in the presence of the nine not asked to make the trip. Along the way they had argued. Jesus heard their sharp tones with one another as they whispered around Him. What a strange picture unfolds for us. Jesus is on His way to die and those going with Him are arguing about which one is the most important. These disciples were so obsessed and blinded by their own pre-occupation with self that they could not fathom the agony within the One they called Jesus. They could not see His needs for looking at their own.
Being a follower of Jesus does not mean the worst cannot be seen in us. Sometimes we struggle as Paul struggled. "I can will what is right, but I cannot do it. For I do not do the good I want, but the evil I do not want is what I do." (Romans 7:19) And sometimes like Jonah, we are clear about what God wants and we simply intentionally set our heart on another course. Before judging the Twelve too harshly, a look in the mirror might cause us to look again at them and others like them with more mercy.