It must have been intense, those days of waiting after Jesus’ death. We can only imagine the state of mind of the disciples. The man they had followed and whose words they had intently listened to for three years has been executed, and everything has suddenly become a blur. The fear, the recounting his teachings, the unknown.
Jesus then appears in there midst, right in the middle of their collective worry, and he declares peace. He knows their confusion and can sense their disbelief, so he let’s them see that he is real and he eat with them.
“Then he said to them, 'These are my words that I spoke to you while I was still with you, that everything written about me in the Law of Moses and the Prophets and the Psalms must be fulfilled.' Then he opened their minds to understand the Scriptures” (Luke 26:44-45)
It is a great section of Scripture. Jesus opening all of the Old Testament to his followers. but I am always confounded as to why the disciples were not ready for this moment. Clearly Jesus foretold these events but those that heard it from the source had to be reminded.
Then I realize I am just like the disciples, maybe even worse. I need to be reminded of Jesus and his good news, of what he came to do and of who he says I am. And those I pastor are the same way.
When I am inclined to be frustrated when someone is just not “getting it," I am reminded of Jesus’ gracious and patient teaching by way of reminder among the disciples.
Reflecting on this interaction with Jesus, J.C. Ryle calls us to patience and humility in our ministry:
"Like our Lord, we must condescend to the feebleness of some men's faith, and treat them as tenderly as little children, in order to bring them into the right way. We must not cast off men because they do not see everything at once. We must not despise the humblest and most childish means, if we can only persuade mean to believe. Such dealing may require much patience. But he who cannot condescend to deal thus with the young, the ignorant, and the uneducated has not the mind of Christ."
We then preach the gospel over and over again, from the Law of Moses, the Prophets, the Psalms and all of Scripture because we need to be reminded of it. We need to be reminded in understandable and patient ways.
Pastor, keep at it — keep preaching the gospel with patience and let’s pray that the Spirit will open minds to understand.