“Wouldn’t know the peace of God if it was placed in front of them.”
– Christian rapper Lecrae
“You did it completely opposite than I thought You would so I was mocking it.”
– Timothy Brindle
“We have both acknowledged that had we done this in our prior marriages that we most likely would have not gone through a divorce.”
– a nursing couple
“Let no one deceive himself. If anyone among you thinks that he is wise in this age, let him become a fool that he may become wise.”
– The Holy Spirit, 1 Corinthians 3:18
“At that time the Jews were taking refuge in the promised Messiah. The apostles held the same beliefs as the people around them. As Millar Burrows of Yale University Divinity School States, ‘Jesus was so unlike what all Jews expected the son of David to be that His own disciples found it almost impossible to connect the idea of the Messiah with Him.’ The disciples did not at all welcome Jesus’ grave predictions about being crucified (see Luke 9:22). Scottish New Testament professor A.B. Bruce observes that there seems to have been the hope that He had taken too gloomy a view of the situation, and that His apprehensions would turn out groundless … a crucified Christ was a scandal and a contradiction to the apostles; quite as much as it continued to be to the majority of the Jewish people after the Lord had ascended to glory.
Alfred Edersheim, once Grinfield Lecturer on the Septuagint at Oxford University, is right in concluding that ‘the most unlike thing to Christ where his times.’ The reality of the person was utterly at odds with the heightened expectations of the day.
We can easily see in the New Testament the apostles’ attitude toward Christ. Everything about him met their expectation of a reigning Messiah. After Jesus told them that he had to go to Jerusalem and suffer, James and John ignored the gloomy prediction and asked him to promise that in his Kingdom they could sit at his right and his left (see Mark 10:32-38). What type Messiah were they thinking of- a suffering, crucified Messiah? No. They saw Jesus a political ruler. He indicated that they had misunderstood what he had to do; they didn’t know what they were asking. When he explicitly predicted his suffering and crucifixion, the idea was so foreign to the apostles’ mind-set that they couldn’t figure out what he meant (see Luke 18:31-34). Because of their background and training in the general Jewish messianic expectation, they thought they were in on a good thing. Then came Calvary. All hopes that Jesus was their Messiah died on the cross. They returned to their homes, discouraged that all those years with Jesus had been wasted.
George Eldon Ladd, former professor of New Testament at Fuller Theological Seminary, writes:
This is also why his disciples forsook him when he was taken captive. Their minds were so completely imbued with the idea of a conquering Messiah whose role it was to subdue his enemies that when they saw him broken and bleeding under the scourging, a helpless prisoner in the hands of Pilate, and when they saw him led away, nailed to a cross to die as a common criminal, all their messianic hopes for Jesus were shattered. It is a sound psychological fact that we hear only what we are prepared to hear. Jesus’ predictions of his suffering and death fell on deaf ears. The disciples, in spite of his warnings, were unprepared for it.
But a few weeks after the Crucifixion, in spite of their former doubts, the disciples were in Jerusalem, proclaiming Jesus as Savior and Lord, the Messiah of the Jews. The only reasonable explanation I can see for this change is what I read in 1 Corinthians 15:5: ‘He was seen by Peter and then by the Twelve [apostles].’ What else could have caused the despondent disciples to go out and suffer and die for a crucified Messiah? Jesus ‘appeared to the apostles from time to time, and he proved to them in many ways that he was actually alive. And he talked to them about the Kingdom of God’ (Acts 1:3).
These men learned the truth about Jesus’ identity as the Messiah. The Jews had misunderstood. Their national patriotism had let them to look for a Messiah to save their nation. What came instead was a Messiah to save the world. A Messiah who would save not merely one nation from political oppression but all of humanity from the eternal consequences of sin. The apostles’ vision had been too small. Suddenly they saw the larger truth.
Yes, many people have died for a good cause, but the good cause of the apostles had died on the cross. At least, that is what they first thought. Only their contact with Christ after the Resurrection convinced these men that he was indeed the Messiah. To this they testified not only with their lips and lives but also with their deaths.”
— Josh McDowell and Sean McDowell, More than a Carpenter, 108-111 (Man’s self-aggrandizing, world-conquering bent makes him completely oblivious to the things that matter most in life. Even after walking with Christ for years and hearing Him stress the necessity of self-denial, all the disciples could think of was sitting at His right and left in His Kingdom.)
“Instead of seeing the death of Christ as a defeat, [Paul] saw it as a great victory, completed by the Resurrection. The Cross was no longer a stumbling block but the essence of God’s messianic redemption.” — McDowell and McDowell, 120
In our case, this can be restated as “instead of seeing Couples Nursing as childish and defeating, many are seeing it as a great victory, corroborated by stronger marriages. CN is no longer a stumbling block but the essence of bodily invasive intimacy and physical union in marriage.”
“This is why I speak to them in parables: ‘Though seeing, they do not see; though hearing, they do not hear or understand.’ 14 In them the prophecy of Isaiah is fulfilled: ‘You will be ever hearing but never never understanding; you will be ever seeing but never perceiving. 15 For this people’s heart has grown callous; they hardly hear with their ears, and they have closed their eyes. Otherwise they might see with their eyes, hear with their ears, understand with their hearts, and turn, and I would heal them.’”
-Jesus Christ, Matthew 13:13-15. Natural man is blind to the things of God. Never will he recognize God’s goodness unless God, in His mercy opens his eyes.