Failure: Not an unforgivable act!

Doers of the Word                  
Monday, Sept. 28       


We have been reading the 9th chapter of St. Luke’s gospel for six days.  There is a sense of urgency in the mind of Jesus.  Luke gives us the impression that there are only a few more weeks before Jesus will go through his passion and death.  His instructions to the apostles are nerve-wracking.  They respond unwittingly.  Chapter nine actually has 8 mistaken reactions by the apostles to situations that Jesus is confronted with.  Are we also mistaken with some of our responses to situations in our lives?

  • They were short-sighted.  When a crowd eager to meet Jesus interrupted their retreat, they had trouble seeing past their limited resources (Luke 9:12,13).
  • They fell asleep – literally – at a crucial moment of opportunity.  When Jesus met with Moses and Elijah, two of the greatest leaders in Israel’s history, Peter, James and John were caught napping (9:28-32).
  • They overvalued the status quo.  Peter tried to freeze the moment rather than move on to the next thing Jesus had in store (9:33-36).
  • They gave in to fear.  They witnessed the healing of an epileptic boy but were too afraid to ask questions to clear up their confusion (9:43-45).
  • They fought for position and privilege instead of practicing servanthood.  Their agenda directly conflicted with Jesus’ treatment of children and “the least” (9:46-48).
  • They were consumed with feuding.  Faced with a rival teacher, the disciples claimed an exclusive connection to God.  But Jesus instead welcomed anyone who served God in His name (9:49,50).
  • They wanted to destroy the opposition.  When their ethnic enemies became inhospitable, the twelve turned vicious. Jesus responded with one of His strongest rebukes (9:51-56).
  • They bit off more than they could chew.  His followers overstated their commitment and failed to deliver on their promises (9:57-62). 

Despite these shortcomings, Jesus continued to prepare the Twelve.  Even though they were weak, competitive, self-centered, unrealistic about themselves, and insensitive to others, Jesus kept training them, as He does us!