To what extent do we trust the Lord?

Answers won’t get us anywhere. Trusting God and His faithfulness will lead us to later glory.

At first, his disciples did not understand all this. Only after Jesus was glorified did they realize that these things had been written about him and that these things had been done to him. Now the crowd that was with him when he called Lazarus from the tomb and raised him from the dead continued to spread the word. Many people, because they had heard that he had performed this sign, went out to meet him. So the Pharisees said to one another, “See, this is getting us nowhere. Look how the whole world has gone after him!” — John 12:16-19, NIV.

In this passage, we see two very contrasting groups of people at play. On one hand, we see that the disciples were all confused at what is going on. They do not understand a thing that was happening. However, on the other extreme end, we see the Pharisees with all their sinister plans to put Jesus to death.

In the passage, we see that the disciples, having followed Christ for over three years, still did not know God’s plan for Christ. They still did not understand anything that was happening.

Simple Faith in God versus Informed Plans without God

It’s interesting how John noted that the disciples only knew the meaning behind what was happening “after Jesus was glorified”. By God’s grace and provisions, the disciples in all their ignorance, followed Christ till the very end. Only when Christ finally gained victory over death did His disciples finally understood what happened and are glorified by God [1].

On the other extreme end, the Pharisees thought that they had everything in control. But when they saw that “the whole world has gone after Him”, they said in desperation among themselves, “this is getting us nowhere!”

The contrast between the two is interesting to note. The disciples were ignorant but were glorified as they placed their trust in Christ, following Him to the end. The Pharisees thought they had everything planned out, but all they got was more confusion and anxiety.

The desire to understand everything is rooted in self-centeredness

Have you ever wondered why Jesus only helped the disciples understand what happened after He got glorified and not before?

In this episode, Jesus may be teaching them a lesson about faith. However, from another perspective, Jesus might not want their selfish ambitions to come into play in this critical phase of His ministry. If the disciples were to seek understanding in this critical phase of Jesus’ ministry, the disciples might unconsciously dive into a state of self-righteousness. If they knew Jesus was preparing Himself to be crucified, they would have acted harshly based on what they felt was right (ref: Matthew 16:22-23, NIV).

Just like how Jesus led the disciples through this chaotic moment in this critical phase of ministry, Jesus wants us to learn to have complete faith in Him. Even though we do not know what lies ahead, we are to trust God that He will make all things work for the good for those who love Him. It is this promise that we hold on so tightly to, knowing that Christ will be glorified in our faith and we will likewise be glorified in Him.

If not, then all that we do will get us nowhere.

[1] By glorified, I am referring to the later glorification of the disciples when Christ is glorified through them (2 Thessalonians 1:12, NIV).

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