When reading through the Gospels, I am often struck with one thought: “Man, the disciples just didn’t get it.” I read through the Gospel of Mark today and almost had to laugh at the cluelessness of the twelve. They whispered to each other about forgotten bread when Jesus was actually talking to them about sin and hard-heartedness, offered to pitch tents while a transfigured Jesus stood in front of them, and were SHOCKED when Jesus did as he had promised and resurrected.
While their antics are amusing, I can’t laugh for too long because I’m just like them.
I forget what he tells me right after hearing it. I jump to the wrong conclusions. I fixate on the wrong things. I neglect the promises of God. I seek to leverage things for my own gain, even my relationship with Christ. I don’t understand the weight of the cross.
Even though I seek to grow and change, I still have a lot in common with those disciples…which is actually assuring. If he loved them relentlessly, what does that say about his love for me?
Jesus never tossed his disciples aside. He never forgot about them or told them that they had run out of opportunities to understand and follow him. He never stopped leaning in, he never stopped loving.
No, Jesus had compassion on his disciples. He was invested in their growth. He prayed for them. He relentlessly loved them.
His love for his disciples is an assurance for us that no matter how undeserved, his love is strong and persistent. C.S. Lewis put it well:
“The Christian does not think God will love us because we are good, but that God will make us good because He loves us.”
Go flip through the pages of the Gospels and allow yourself to laugh at the obliviousness of the disciples, but let their antics also encourage thankfulness in your own heart. Jesus didn’t stop loving them, and he won’t stop loving you either.