Hindsight is 20/20 means that anything you look back on is easier to understand that it was at the time. We make decisions in the now, then sometimes realize later we acted too quickly, neglected certain facts, or else were simply uninformed. Hindsight being 20/20, we would have done things differently if we could just have seen the big picture.
I recently posted on how Peter’s confession that Jesus is the Christ did not mean exactly the same thing to Peter as it does to Christians today. We have the advantage of reading the entire Gospel story before making a decision about Jesus. We can also read the entire Old Testament in light of the New, then study endless Bible commentaries and historians to make a more informed decision. As we approach Holy Week and then Easter, it’s important to keep in mind that Jesus did not fit into these guys view of what Messiah was going to be at the time.
At the end of Exodus 2, the Hebrews are crying out to God because of their slavery, and God hears their cry. His response is to call Moses in Exodus 3. The people call out to God, and he sends them a savior. Moses and Aaron lead the Hebrews out of Egypt. When the Hebrews demanded a king, God sent them Saul. When they needed military heroes, God sent people like David, Gideon and Samson. Throughout their history, God had sent many different “saviors” depended on what the need was at the time. The first century found the Hebrews living under Roman occupation. Many Jews, from the disciples all the way up to the temple priests, were expecting the Messiah to be a military leader. Many of the so called followers of Jesus expected a military conquest followed by a king sitting on the throne in Jerusalem.
Did Jesus tell the disciples plainly in Mark 8 that he must suffer and die? Yes he did, but they could not understand this teaching because it did not fit what they believed about the Christ. He would say it again twice in Mark 9, and Mark finally tells us they did not understand and where afraid to ask him. At his arrest and trial, all his followers deserted him. At the empty tomb, the two Mary’s were afraid. They thought the body of Jesus had been moved, and they did know where to find it. We might be screaming “Come on, don’t you get it?!?” But that’s because we study the same verses year after year for a lifetime. Try to step outside of all that you know and imagine living through those events for the first time. AFTER the resurrection, all Christ’s words made sense, and the gospel writers were even able to explain it to us. Peter does a quite a job of it in Acts chapter 2.
What do we not understand? The funny thing is that we don’t know what we don’t know. We don’t know why the innocent suffer, why children fight in wars, why babies die and so on. We may not understand the collapsing economy nor our failing government, but hopefully our faith is not in those things. God ordains the leaders and nations of this world, and is the author of history. Someday we may very well look back, slap ourselves on the forehead, and exclaim “Why couldn’t I see that?”