If we were among the crowd that followed Jesus who had seen all his miracles, we would most likely also expect him to go “all the way,” that is, conquer our enemies altogether. If he even had power over demons, we would say, how much more could he drive out mere human enemies! This is indeed the thinking even of the close disciples of Jesus. But he instead intimates to them that he will suffer at the hands of the elders and even be killed, although he will rise later. But why this would be necessary is very hard to understand. In today’s world where evil and violence seem to flourish even more, some of us wonder at times why God does not simply intervene to wipe out all evil with his power. If he shows his power positively in graced experiences now and then, why can’t he be “consistent” in also imposing his power over evil so that everything will be all right? We will never know, but perhaps there is really something in “going through” or undergoing a “passion.” Or that God wants to involve human beings in his saving act; after all, it is for them that God has created this world.
GOSPEL • LUKE 9:43b-45
While they were all amazed at his every deed, Jesus said to his disciples, “Pay attention to what I am telling you. The Son of Man is to be handed over to men.” But they did not understand this saying; its meaning was hidden from them so that they should not understand it, and they were afraid to ask him about this saying.
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