The other day, Bethel asked me “Did Jesus tell his disciples that he was going to die on the cross?”
Yes, but they didn’t understand what he was talking about until later.
It immediately reminded me that much of my teaching doesn’t take root immediately. My children don’t always understand concepts. It takes time for concepts to sink in.
Jesus knew his disciples wouldn’t understand his plan until after he had died. He told them a number of times what was going to happen, knowing that our human brain sometimes needs multiple reps and time to learn something new.
One book I’ve enjoyed is Roy Zuck’s Teaching as Jesus Taught, and I’m reminded that sometime in the next few years I’d like to reread it. Jesus is a master teacher, and paying attention to his methods can be helpful and inspiring as we seek to teach the same truths Jesus taught, to our own children. He used questions masterfully. He used stories that had a spiritual purpose. He also taught with patience. (I find it interesting that he did express weariness with their dullness at times, but he did not stop repeating himself.) If grown men needed repetition of spiritual truths, so yet do our children.
Then Jesus said unto them, Take heed and beware of the leaven of the Pharisees and of the Sadducees.[initial truth]
7And they reasoned among themselves, saying, It is because we have taken no bread. [misunderstanding]
8Which when Jesus perceived, he said unto them, O ye of little faith, why reason ye among yourselves, because ye have brought no bread?
9Do ye not yet understand, neither remember the five loaves of the five thousand, and how many baskets ye took up?
10Neither the seven loaves of the four thousand, and how many baskets ye took up?
11How is it that ye do not understand that I spake it not to you concerning bread, that ye should beware of the leaven of the Pharisees and of the Sadducees? [Truthfully, I don’t think I would have gotten the connection between his miracles and the lesson he was teaching. Put me in the slow learner category.]
12Then understood they how that he bade them not beware of the leaven of bread, but of the doctrine of the Pharisees and of the Sadducees.
Then he said unto them, O fools, and slow of heart to believe all that the prophets have spoken:26Ought not Christ to have suffered these things, and to enter into his glory?
27And beginning at Moses and all the prophets, he expounded unto them in all the scriptures the things concerning himself. Luke 24:25-27
One thing I’m interested to note is that Jesus is impatient with their unbelief more than simply lack of understanding. I wonder if this is consistent throughout the gospels. That bears thinking on, for its implication in my own life and the lives of my children.