Matthew 26:31 (MEV): Then Jesus said to them, “All of you will fall away on account of Me this night, for it is written:
‘I will strike the shepherd, and the sheep of the flock shall be scattered.’
Jesus told the disciples of many insights from the Old Testament. He showed them that even their behavior was prophesied long before it would happen. He shared it with them to prepare them.
As always, people tend to only focus on themselves. Read on as the disciples do that. They would turn their focus on themselves and miss something important.
It’s the proverbial elephant in the room!
Matthew 26:32 (MEV): But after I have risen, I will go before you to Galilee.”
Jesus isn’t talking about them… Really. I mean, these guys walked with Jesus for around 3 years. They knew Him and loved Him. He relates His impending death, their scattering, and His resurrection and continued shepherding of them.
Matthew 26:33–35 (MEV): Peter answered, “Though all men will fall away on account of You, yet I will never fall away.”
Jesus said to him, “Truly I say to you, this night, before the rooster crows, you will deny Me three times.”
Peter said to Him, “Though I should die with You, yet I will not deny You.” And all the disciples spoke in this manner.
Sometimes we, like the disciples, get so focused on our performance, we miss the bigger picture. Jesus is trying to prepare the disciples for what is going to happen. He would die and rise again. He will again lead them. He gives them the very hope they need to not fear the coming trial.
So focused on proving their loyalty, they missed what He said… After I have risen.
Is it any wonder?
Did they really expect the resurrection, even now?
Think about that. We know the resurrection, as the central tenet of Christianity. Without it, there’s no hope. Skeptics get it. The will pounce on the idea with cockamamie stories on how it is a lie. They will say this dying and rising God was copied from elsewhere. They will allege the disciples stole Jesus’ body and hid it. (I am sure there are even more objections.)
If the resurrection were a lie foisted upon us by these witnesses who penned accounts of it, why would Matthew embarrass himself by recording his own ignoring of it?
In the passage we examined, the fact they would be scattered wasn’t missed. The most important thing wasn’t even acknowledged.
It wasn’t expected, at all.
In your own reading of the Gospels, take note of how many times Jesus spoke of the resurrection. Also, the note how many times it was acknowledged. Deeply consider that.