One oddly encouraging thing about the Gospels is seeing just how dense Jesus’ disciples were. They are consistently and persistently slow on the uptake. When Jesus is being literal, they take Him metaphorically. When He is being metaphorical, they take Him literally. They always seem to be a few steps behind. Do you remember after the miracle in John 6 where Jesus fed the five thousand, there was a subsequent event where a smaller crowd of four thousand had gathered, and the disciples wonder how they will be fed?

No, these disciples do not seem to be the head of the class, cream of the crop-type guys. They aren’t winning the scholarship awards in seminary. They are slow, dumb, and stubborn.

But this ought to be a huge encouragement to us! This is encouraging, because it means our ignorance is no hindrance to God. Because Jesus never stops at any point and says to these consummate dum-dums, “You know what? I’ve had it with you guys,” we can trust he will never say that to us. Our spiritual stupidity seems to be in fact a prerequisite for His awakening grace.

We must really be loved by God! If He gave us this gift apart from our efforts and despite our blindness, He must really want us and care for us.