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The vulnerability of Thursday


He said to His disciples, “Let these words sink down into your ears for the Son of Man is about to be betrayed into the hands of men.”

But they did not understand this saying, and it was hidden from them so that they did not perceive it; and they were afraid to ask Him about this saying.

Luke 9:44-45

I read these words today for the first time. 

Jesus, being vulnerable with me, asking me to listen, to truly hear. “Let these words sink down into your ears.” 

More than a cursory hearing. More than a multi-tasking auditory exercise. 



I don’t want to hear that. 

Maundy Thursday. Holy Thursday. 

The disciples were afraid to ask. They didn’t understand. Maybe they even wanted to. But fear kept the questions from coming. The rumblings of what was coming, the betrayal of their best friend and Lord, terrified them. 

Kind of like the children of Israel under Moses, in the desert. 

18 Now all the people witnessed the thunderings, the lightning flashes, the sound of the trumpet, and the mountain smoking; and when the people saw it, they trembled and stood afar off. 19 Then they said to Moses, “You speak with us, and we will hear; but let not God speak with us, lest we die.”

Exodus 20

What is He saying today? Do we seek understanding or do we put it aside, afraid of all the implications? 

I have a tendency to expect harsh things from God, lots of bad news. My perception of God and the reality of God do not line up a majority of the time. And this includes hearing the voice of God whispering in my heart. I don’t want bad news. I don’t want to die to myself. I don’t want to choose the narrow path. It hurts. I might get rejected. Betrayed. 

In the darkness of anxiety, which often feels like a betrayal, I cling to these words:

I will hear what God the LORD will speak, 
For He will speak peace
To His people and to His saints;
But let them not turn back to folly.
Surely His salvation is near to those who fear Him,
That glory may dwell in our land.

Psalm 85:8-9

I want Your words to sink down into my ears. I don’t want to miss what You’re telling me on this, darkest of days. I don’t want to let fear prevent me from being with You in Your suffering. No matter how bad it gets, I have to believe like Martha that there is a resurrection, even if I haven’t seen it yet. 

But now, speak Your words and I will ask questions. I am not afraid. 

1 Comment

  1. Z. G. Beck says:

    Wow. I’ve never noticed those words before, either!

    We have to heed Jesus’ words and heed His voice. Without Him we are truly lost. I think this week I have begun to get an inkling of what God means when He says that He will shake everything that can be shaken, forcing us to cling to Him. What is this world of shaking ground, darkening skies, and torn curtains without the hand of the One who made it all intervening and drawing our eyes to the God-Man on the Cross, the moment of the continuous present?

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