Several computer updates ago, when wanting to replace a word in a document I was working on, I would double-click to highlight the outgoing word, then retype with my desired word. Easy-peasy. With the current iteration, I double-click to highlight the word, but then am further obligated to hit the ‘delete’ button, then proceed to type in the new word (Another whole step!). My brain’s attachment to the old version is proving resistant to this newfangled way of doing things. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve followed my previous (preferred) procedure, only to discover both words still staring at me. Since the two words are mashed up together, my spell check tsk-tsks me with that angry-looking red line. There’s probably a voice that sounds as well, saying: ‘Whoa up there, buddy-roo!’ but I keep my volume turned off while composing, to keep from finding out.

This realization has unlocked a key to understanding Jesus’ disciples. Their earlier ‘computer upgrade’ was as entrenched as mine, so when Jesus taught something new, or did something out of the ordinary (which was constant), that teaching or miracle just got added onto the existing print. And pretty soon, all those mashed up words (theirs with his) muddied the message, making it perplexing, if not incomprehensible (It took a long time for them to recognize that their ‘computer’ was being upgraded. I can sympathize).

Those 3½ years the guys spent with Jesus were saturated with his laser-focused Kingdom instruction. Everything from travel plans to meal prep became a teachable moment. At issue, was that Jesus seemed to be as natural about his instruction as he was about breathing. His point was often too subtle for the group. That’s why they were able to live the Last Supper with him, his suffering, death, and Resurrection, plus the 50 days spent teaching them afterward, and at the very, very last minute, cluelessly pose the question: Is it now you are going to restore the Kingdom to Israel? (did you just wince, too?) We’ll take another run at understanding tomorrow at 10 AM, 3 PM.  PD

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