I've been in the Gospels for quite some time now, between my church's study on the book of Matthew and my own personal bible study on the Life of Jesus in the book of Luke, and one thing that has particularly struck me is how often Jesus' disciples just don't get it.

The disciples eagerly followed Jesus when He first called them.  They were common fishermen, not likely to be seeked out by religious leaders to be disciples, a huge honor.  So when Jesus approached these men, they left their lives for the sake of His.  I've always wanted to think they must have sensed how special He was, and that's why they left.  But the more I look at the disciples, I'm not sure they quite got it.. not yet at least.

After traveling with Jesus as He taught, after seeing many healed from leprosy, fever,  and being freed from demon-possession, they showed their first bit of proof that maybe they didn't quite grasp how powerful He was. 
They set sail to cross a lake with Jesus and while He slept they came upon a huge storm.  They were terrified! They woke Jesus, asking Him to save them, and His reply was, "Why are you afraid? You have so little faith!"
Wait a minute, they asked Jesus for help.. doesn't that mean they had faith? 
Well, apparently not. Because the next verse says, "The disciples were amazed. 'Who is this man?' they asked, 'Even the winds and waves obey him!'" (Matt 8:23-27)

And we all know the fish and bread story.  Just another example of a time when they didn't realize they power of Christ.  (Matt 14:13-21)

This is followed by Jesus, walking on the water and calling Peter out to meet him after the disciples cast doubt about whether or not it really was Jesus.  After Peter walks on the water to meet him, starts to sink because of fear, and is rescued by Christ and taken back to the boat, the disciples exclaim, "You really are the Son of God!" (Matt 14:22-33)

It's amazing to me how these guys could spend 3 years side-by-side with Jesus and be unable to grasp the entirety of Christ's deity.  How much more difficult is is for us, then?  I wonder how many times I've totally missed the opportunity to see God work because I forgot about his power and only saw thing through my human, fallible eyes.

Um, maybe they didn't get it because all of his lessons were in parables, you might say.  And maybe you're right...
But at the last supper, (Matt 26) Jesus gives it to them straight.  First he says, "I tell you the truth, one of you will betray me."  (He's talking about Judas, who already had betrayed him.)  And you know what the disciples say?  "Am I the one, Lord?"
That says to me that they were all capable. 
The real kicker is when Judas innocently asks, "Rabbi, am I the one?"
"You have said it," Jesus replies.
Then they keep eating.
Huh?  
I would think the disciples would be enraged!  Apparently, that one went right over their heads.
As they ate, Jesus explains that he is about to die and that that very night, they will all desert him.  I love what he says next,
"But after I have been raised from the dead, I will go ahead of you to Galilee and meet you there."
Even thought Jesus knew they would all abandon him, He was already planning to forgive them.  How merciful.

The ever zealous Peter declares, "Even if everyone else deserts you, I never will!" 
Jesus tells Peter, Oh no no.. in fact, before the rooster crows in the morning, you will deny three times that you even know me."
Peter can't believe what Jesus says, swearing that he would die with Jesus before he ever denied him.  Unfortunately we see what comes next...
Jesus goes to pray and asks his disciples to do the same, because tonight he will be handed over to death.  What happens next? Jesus goes to check on the disciples and there they are, heads bowed, eyes closes..... asleep.
Asleep??  Again, they don't seem to grasp the gravity of the situation.

Just a few verses later, Jesus is handed over and arrested.  At that point, all the disciples deserted him and fled (Matt 26:56.)  Do I really need to say it?

And, as we all know, Peter does indeed deny knowing Christ, three times.  The first time he says it indirectly, "I don't know what you are talking about!" when asked about being one with Jesus.
The second time he makes an oath, "I don't even know the man!" 
The third he swears, "A curse on me if I'm lying -- I don't know the man!"
Hence the blog title, "If I'm lyin', I'm dyin'!"
Can we say, Cock-a-Doodle-Doo!?

At this, he remembered what Jesus had said and wept bitterly. 

Despite the fact that these guys walked the same roads as Jesus, ate with him, laughed with him, cried with him, they still failed him.  They were human, just like us. 
But the good news is, in spite of our failures, Jesus never fails us!
He did as he said and overcame death and met them in Galilee just as he said he would!  He forgave them.
In Luke 24, it says that when Jesus met them in Galilee, he showed them his scars and "opened their minds to understand the Scriptures."
They finally got it. 
Not because of the steps they took on their journey, and certainly not because of their unabashed devotion to him, but because He revealed it to them.
Our only hope is in Him, not ourselves... and thank God for that. 

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