Matthew 16:21. “From that time forth began Jesus to shew unto His disciples, how that He must go unto Jerusalem, and suffer many things of the elders and chief priests and scribes, and be killed, and be raised again the third day.”
The next events in Jesus’ ministry on earth were coming together, pointing more and more to the Cross and His sacrifice and resurrection. From this passage onward, Jesus worked slowly and clearly to help the disciples understand what He–and they–would be facing until He returned to heaven.
Did they “get it”? Not right away, I’m sure. There must have been confusion and denial. Even after Peter’s affirmation that Jesus was the Christ, the Son of the Living God, it doesn’t seem as if they put it all together with the Old Testament prophecies of Jesus’ purpose in coming to earth. After all, they loved Him. They did not easily accept or understand that He would purposefully go to Jerusalem, there to suffer and die for the sin of all mankind. They were more of a mind to take Him to Jerusalem as the reigning King of the Jews!
It is easy for us to look back and say, “Well, I would have understood! I wouldn’t have tried to stop Him, and I wouldn’t have left His side during all the suffering. I would have believed!”
I’m not so sure. The men who were His disciples had been reared in the traditional Jewish manner, learning the Law and the Prophets, learning the oral, traditional law, from the time they were very small. Yet, they didn’t put it all together until after the resurrection.
We have the entire inspired Word of God, and we don’t put it all together, either. If we did, we would live more holy lives. We would witness more. We would devour His Word and yearn to share it with others.
I don’t believe we recognize fully Who God is, any more than the disciples did.