I’ve been reading through the book of Luke and what I find amazing is how little the disciples understood Jesus. They believed He was sent from God, was the Messiah, the Christ, the Son of God, but each time Jesus spoke to them about going to the cross, dying and rising again, they always missed it. He told them during His Passover meal with them that His flesh and blood were the bonds of the New Covenant and none of them understood. In fact just after Jesus told them one of them was going to betray Him, they all began arguing over who was the greatest among them. Peter declared he would die with Jesus if needed! His pride got the better of him and Jesus told him that he’d deny knowing Jesus 3 times before the rooster crowed.
Just after Peter’s proclamation Jesus said something I find interesting in Luke 22:35-38: “Then he said to all of them, “When I sent you out empty-handed, did you lack anything?” “Not a thing,” they answered. “God provided all we needed.” Jesus said, “But now I say to you: Take what you need. If you have money, take it—and a knapsack and a sword. Danger is imminent. For the prophetic Scripture about me ‘He will be accused of being a criminal’ will now come to pass. All that was prophesied of me will be fulfilled.” The disciples told him, “Lord, we already have two swords!” “You still don’t understand,” Jesus responded” (Italics mine). They still did not understand the purpose for which Jesus had come into our world. Jesus didn’t walk away in a huff over their ignorance because He knew full well what would happen – the resurrection and then Pentecost!
If the disciples had fully realized that Jesus was going to really die, and for their sins, don’t you think they might have done something to stop it? They had swords – Peter even used one and cut a servant’s ear off when Judas betrayed Him just after Jesus’ hour of intense trial in the Garden of Gethsemane. I believe their ignorance and dullness of hearing was a blessing in disguise. When Jesus’ darkest hour arrived and Jesus asked them to pray with Him and watch with Him, they fell asleep and were of no help to Him. If they had really understood all that Jesus was going to do for them, they may have attempted to hide Jesus or something of the sort. Jesus wouldn’t allow it – He came to finished the Father’s work to save us and nothing would hinder that.
I’m coming to my point even if slowly…”If” the disciples had fully comprehended everything about Jesus, then the work of the Holy Spirit would have been in vain. The need for Pentecost and the filling of the Holy Spirit was real and tangible. Without the Spirit filling them, they would have stayed afraid, cowardly, and may have even told themselves after time went by, that none of the last 3 years happened. Or worse than that, they may have tried in their own strength to behave like Jesus without the Spirit. They all deserted Jesus as He went to the cross and even at the grave it was the women Jesus revealed Himself to. Thank God for those women! After the Spirit came upon and into them they were completely changed! I think the complete turnaround of the disciples (just read the book of Acts) was proof of the Spirit’s real work. The Holy Spirit’s role is so key in our lives and even today we can’t know the truth apart from the Spirit’s role in revealing Jesus to us.
John 15:26-27 “And I will send you the Divine Encourager (Holy Spirit) from the very presence of my Father. He will come to you, the Spirit of Truth, emanating from the Father, and he will speak to you about me. And you will tell everyone the truth about me, for you have walked with me from the start.”
John 16:7-8 “But here’s the truth: It’s to your advantage that I go away, for if I don’t go away the Divine Encourager (Holy Spirit) will not be released to you. But after I depart, I will send him to you. And when he comes, he will expose sin and prove that the world is wrong about God’s righteousness and his judgments.” Also vs’ 13-15: “But when the truth-giving Spirit comes, he will unveil the reality of every truth within you. He won’t speak his own message, but only what he hears from the Father, and he will reveal prophetically to you what is to come. He will glorify me on the earth, for he will receive from me what is mine and reveal it to you. Everything that belongs to the Father belongs to me—that’s why I say that the Divine Encourager will receive what is mine and reveal it to you.”
I share all this to encourage you – if you don’t understand everything about Jesus, don’t worry. The work of the Holy Spirit is real and is abiding and He is ever working to show you Jesus! You can ask Him to show you anything about Jesus and He will. He’ll do it without mentioning any of your weaknesses. James 1:5 says, “And if anyone longs to be wise, ask God for wisdom and he will give it! He won’t see your lack of wisdom as an opportunity to scold you over your failures but he will overwhelm your failures with his generous grace.” So come to Him as you are knowing that the Spirit loves to work in your life. He loves to reveal Jesus to you. Rest knowing how little the disciples who walked with Him in person understood. We are cut from the same fabric of humanity. Without God opening our eyes, we can’t see anything. God loves to open our eyes and ears to His truth = Jesus!