The opening passage of Sunday’s Gospel marks another milestone.
Jesus had now left the north country and was taking the first steps towards Jerusalem and the Cross which awaited him there. He did not want the crowds around him. He knew he needed time alone with his apostles. He needed to write his message on their hearts; anyone can leave behind a series of propositions; Jesus knew that was not enough.
He tells them again about his impending arrest, execution, and resurrection, however this time the tragedy of his suffering and death is even more poignant. If you compare it to what we heard a few weeks ago, when he foretold his death in Mark 8:31 and 9:12, we see that he now adds one phrase, “The Son of Man is to be handed over to men…” There was a traitor in the little band and he knew it.
Nonetheless, the disciples were still far from understanding the real meaning of Jesus’ messiahship. Repeatedly he had told them what awaited him in Jerusalem, and yet, they were still thinking of his Kingdom in earthly terms and of themselves as his chief ministers of state. Yet, in their heart of hearts, they must have known they were wrong for when Jesus asks them what they are arguing about, they are silent.
It is strange how a thing takes its proper place and acquires its true character when it is set before the eyes of Jesus.
If we took everything and set it in the sight of Jesus it would make all the difference in the world. If, of everything we did, we asked, “Could I go on doing this if Jesus was watching me?”; if, of everything we said, we asked, “Could I go on talking like this if Jesus was listening to me?” there would be many things which we would be saved from doing and saying. And, the fact of Christian belief is, there is no “if” about it!
He watches you read and ponder his word!