Reflecting on why the disciples didn't understand Jesus' words in the moment, Claire McGarry understands a bit more about hindsight.
Hindsight makes for excellent 20/20 vision. There's something about waiting for the haze of our emotions to lift to see things clearly.
In John 2, Jesus had just made a whip and was using it to drive out the sheep and cattle from the temple. His anger rose to such a degree, He even flipped the money changers' tables and drove them out too.
You've got to imagine His emotion spread to the disciples. They'd never seen the gentle and compassionate Jesus lash out in anger before. I'm sure they felt His fury, and it caused fear and turmoil in them.
It makes perfect sense, then, that they had no idea what Jesus was talking about when He said He could rebuild the temple in three days. They knew He was capable of raising the dead. Yet, they couldn't fathom there'd be another whip used on Him, that He'd be nailed to a cross and die, never mind be resurrected.
Therefore, when he was raised from the dead, his disciples remembered that he had said this, and they came to believe the scripture and the word Jesus had spoken. (John 2:22)
It was later, after Jesus' Resurrection, that they reflected back. In doing so, everything clicked together and made sense.
How often are we completely confused by our current circumstances? When those around us are flipping tables in anger, or we're so irate we drive people away, how can we expect to see clearly? Our vision is colored and blurred by heightened feelings.
It takes waiting out the emotions for understanding to happen. It takes going to God in our extreme state so He can cut through it, like the sun burns off mist on a foggy day.
Then, we can look back and see things for what they really were. Suddenly, things click together for us, and we can see the good that came from the trial, the happy ending that came from the challenging story, and the peace that can be found on the other side of the hardship.
Copyright 2022 Claire McGarry
Image: Guercino (1591-1666), Public domain, via Wikimedia Commons
About the Author
Claire McGarry is the author of Grace in Tension: Discover Peace with Martha and Mary, and the Lenten family devotionals With Our Savior and Abundant Mercy. Claire is a regular contributor to Living Faith, and her freelance work has appeared in several books, magazines, and devotionals. She blogs weekly at Shifting My Perspective, and lives in New Hampshire with her husband and three children. Follow her on Facebook, Instagram, and Amazon.