32 They were on their way up to Jerusalem, with Jesus leading the way, and the disciples were astonished, while those who followed were afraid. Again he took the Twelve aside and told them what was going to happen to him. 33 “We are going up to Jerusalem,” he said, “and the Son of Man will be delivered over to the chief priests and the teachers of the law. They will condemn him to death and will hand him over to the Gentiles,34 who will mock him and spit on him, flog him and kill him. Three days later he will rise.”
(Mark 10:32-34 NIV)
In today’s passage, Jesus resumes His journey to Jerusalem. Jesus is walking ahead of His disciples, leading the way. Jesus’ disciples are following, and are astonished at Jesus moving confidently to Jerusalem, knowing what lies ahead.
Mark pulls back the camera for an instant and gives us a glimpse of the third band of followers tagging along. Mark tells us that this group is afraid of what is about to happen.
In verses 33-34, Jesus stops, pulls His disciples aside, and tells them a third time what is about to take place. This is the third prophecy that Jesus will make about the events that will soon transpire.
Let’s review quickly:
Jesus’ first prophecy:
31 He then began to teach them that the Son of Man must suffer many things and be rejected by the elders, the chief priests and the teachers of the law, and that he must be killed and after three days rise again.
(Mark 8:31 NIV)
Jesus’ second prophecy:
31 because he was teaching his disciples. He said to them, “The Son of Man is going to be delivered into the hands of men. They will kill him, and after three days he will rise.”
(Mark 9:31 NIV)
and finally, today’ text, the third prophecy:
33 “We are going up to Jerusalem,” he said, “and the Son of Man will be delivered over to the chief priests and the teachers of the law. They will condemn him to death and will hand him over to the Gentiles, 34 who will mock him and spit on him, flog him and kill him. Three days later he will rise.”
(Mark 10:33-34 NIV)
Notice that Jesus provided progressive revelation to His disciples, preparing them for what was to come. In today’s text, Jesus adds the details of being handed over to the Gentiles (the Romans) who would mock Him, spit on Him, flog Him, and finally kill Him.
And yet, each prophecy ends the same – the promise of resurrection, of new life.
In each of these prophecies, Jesus reminds us that suffering comes before glory. We see this in the natural world around us:
- The athlete must train endlessly, endure pain, injuries, and discouragement before experiencing the elation of winning.
- Mothers must endure the discomfort, sickness, pain, and distress before experiencing the joy of holding the newborn child in her arms.
- Business people must struggle through long days and nights, countless obstacles and setbacks, financial struggles, and rejection before bringing a product or service to marketplace success.
But suffering does not guarantee glory. Many an athlete has been permanently sidelined and their hopes dashed, couples suffer through infertility, miscarriages, and unfulfilled dreams of family, and business people experience the death of their dreams and financial ruin before they see their business take off and make a profit.
Living in a broken world is hard. Paul tells us that even creation itself feels the pain of sin and brokenness and groans under the strain, even in our day (Romans 8:22).
Yet, as we look forward to being resurrected with Jesus and spending eternity with Him, this suffering we experience pales in comparison to what is to come.
Paul says it best:
18 I consider that our present sufferings are not worth comparing with the glory that will be revealed in us.
(Romans 8:18 NIV)
Be encouraged, dear friends – as followers of Christ, our hope is not in this world. May we keep our eyes fixed on Jesus, knowing that our sufferings in this broken and hurting world are nothing compared to He who is ahead.
We look forward to that glorious reunion.