Mark 10:32-34 Dull As Dirt

32 They were on their way up to Jerusalem, with Jesus leading the way, and the disciples were astonished, while those who followed were afraid. Again he took the Twelve aside and told them what was going to happen to him. 33 “We are going up to Jerusalem,” he said,“and the Son of Man will be delivered over to the chief priests and the teachers of the law.They will condemn him to death and will hand him over to the Gentiles, 34 who will mock him and spit on him, flog him and kill him. Three days later he will rise.”

Dull As Dirt

I took a test that was meant to measure how smart I am today.  It is called the Miller’s Analogy Test.  As I took it, I was not quite sure what I was doing.  I hadn’t really studied how to take it and it didn’t work like I anticipated.  Fortunately the scores are on a curve and I seem to have done okay.  We tend to measure how smart we are by comparing ourselves to others.  When we compare ourselves to the disciples in Mark, we tend to think of them as dull as dirt.  Why don’t they understand when Jesus warns them that he is going to die?

One of the explanations that we might look at is that we think of them as dull because Jesus did die.  We know the end of the story and he dies and is resurrected.  Another explanation is that Jesus had taught with a lot of metaphorical language and analogy.  The disciples might have thought this ‘death’ language had a deeper meaning.

The positive side is that whether my score gets me into a doctoral program or not, Jesus has a history of using the foolish to confound the wise.  These dimwits did get it in the end and by their dedication and martyrdom we have received the faith.

Prayer

Dear God all our understanding is limited.  Enhance what we have and take it further.  Help us to love you with our minds as well as our soul and strength.

Questions

  1. How many times has Jesus laid out that he will die?
  2. What is his purpose in doing this?
  3. Why do the disciples not understand?
  4. How is your understanding limited?
  5. Ask God to show you an area where you lack understanding.  Make a plan to grow wiser in this area.
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About Plymothian

I teach at Moody Bible Institute in Chicago. My interests include education, biblical studies, and spiritual formation. I have been married to Kelli since 1998 and we have two children, Daryl and Amelia. For recreation I like to run, play soccer, play board games, read and travel.
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