«But they did not understand this Saying, and it was hidden from them so that they did not perceive it; and they were afraid to ask Him about this Saying” (Luke 9:45).
The next day after the Transfiguration, the disciples still lacked a lot to A become the leaders of the budding church. Because of their little faith, their lack of fasting and praying, they were not able to heal the demon-possessed youth, who was his father’s only son (see Matthew 17:14—2; Mark 9:29). They had received power to cast out demons, but they could not heal this young man who was possessed. Today we lack the same things.
Jesus had spoken to them of the death He was to face; they did not understand how someone who could calm the storms and raise the dead could not also avoid His own death. Nor did they understand why Jesus, who had enjoyed heavenly glory, would accept humiliation and suffering. The life of a Christian is full of paradoxes. How is it that, being Christians, we can suffer so many misfortunes?
Jesus renewed His efforts to he1p His disciples understand the coming events (see Luke 9:44), but His disciples were distracted: their priority was to know who would be the greatest among them in the new kingdom. In our lives, there are also people saying good-bye to the world, and we don’t hear them because we are busy with something else. The disciples did not understand the viewpoint of Jesus, and they didn’t ask Him about it because they were afraid of His answer. The fear of asking questions keeps us from acquiring new knowledge.
On the way to Jerusalem, the disciples were not talking with Jesus, because they were busy arguing among themselves about the hierarchy of the supposedly coming kingdom. Jesus sat a child down in the middle of them, and He said that the smallest of them would become the greatest (see Mark 9:36, 37). They were so full of themselves that they were unable to grasp any of the truths He was trying to teach them. Then, John changed the subject: someone had been casting out demons in the name of Jesus, and they had stopped him (see verse 38). James and John reported that the Samaritans had not allowed them to stay overnight in their villages, and they thought they should consume the villages with fire. Other disciples were following Jesus, but only with certain conditions. Jesus answered them all saying chat whoever wanted to be His follower should devote their attention and their priorities exclusively to Him.
We are not any better prepared than the disciples. We are worried about our position in the church and we compare ourselves with others. We think we have the right to judge others.
But Christian leadership is paradoxical: to be great we must be small; to enjoy being at Jesus’s side we must suffer to be leaders we must serve, without comparisons nor distinctions. Christian leadership requires our complete and total dedication. Only Jesus will grant success to our labor.