Week 9 Devo – MONDAY

Jesus Defies Expectation

Any parent, grandparent, aunt or uncle can relate to the necessity of repeating exciting announcements to children, who usually say something such as “Wait, what?” or “Seriously?” Whether because of disbelief or unfamiliarity, they need to be told more than once. Or if you have coached a team, maybe you’ve said something such as “It’ll be worth it in the end,” to encourage the players to trust you and the process. Athletes must be reminded of where they are and where the goal is, and then adjust their expectations. Jesus’ disciples were no different. They suffered from a brand of disbelieving faith and wrong expectations. They misunderstood what the real Messiah and true Messianic mission looked like. So, Jesus had to speak very pointedly – and they did not like it.

Have you been in a training or coaching situation where you didn’t understand the instructions and needed help? What did you learn from that experience?

We read about the disciples’ misunderstanding in the Gospel of Mark 8:29 when Jesus asked them, “Who do you say that I am?”

And in response, Peter made a remarkable confession, boldly proclaiming Jesus as the long-awaited Messiah. Yet, what kind of Messiah would Jesus be? Jesus hinted at all His messianic mission would entail, but the disciples still didn’t understand. They expected a conqueror, not a sufferer. Jesus didn’t wait to explain; He took the teaching opportunity.

Then he taught them that the Son of Man must suffer many things and be rejected by the elders, chief priests, and scribes, be killed, and rise after three days. He spoke openly about this. Peter took him aside and began to rebuke him. But turning around and looking at his disciples, he rebuked Peter and said, “Get behind me, Satan! You are not thinking about God’s concerns but human concerns.” —Mark 8:31–33

At first, Peter got it right. But Peter went from proclaiming Jesus as Messiah to being called “Satan” and being told to get back in line just a few minutes later. We can get things right in our faith and then have the rug pulled out from us when we misapply what we get right. This is why context is so helpful when we study Scripture. When we open the Bible, we can use the CIA method: Context + Interpretation = Application.

Did you know the Gospels record less than one month of Jesus’ life? We only have snippets, or parts, of around 24 to 26 days of the earthly life of Jesus. In God’s plan, we didn’t need more than a month of Jesus’ life recorded for the power of the Gospel to be unleashed and humanity to be rescued. As we open our Bible study this week, the most crucial aspect of the Gospels is the intentional focus on the final eight days of Jesus’ earthly ministry. This last week or so of Jesus’ life is referred to by many as “The Passion of the Christ.”

Hearing this descriptor may need clarification. Why do many people refer to Jesus’ suffering, death, and Resurrection as “the passion”? The term “passion” is connected to the Latin passiō, which means suffering. Throughout the Gospels, we see Jesus resetting the disciples’ (and our) expectations about what kind of Messiah He would be. These predictions were meant to lead the first disciples and today’s disciples to realize Jesus is who He claimed to be, and because of this, we can look to Him with confidence and hope.

Read the following passages, and as you close today’s study, ask the Lord to reveal why Jesus had to suffer first and not conquer. Summarize what you’ve learned.

Acts 1:3; 3:18

Luke 17:25; 22:15 Hebrews 13:12

1 Peter 3:18; 4:1 Philippians 1:29