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"Those Silly Apostles"

I’ve made the accusation and others have as well: “Those
silly apostles! They were so confused!” But were they really?  Is it always fair to make that statement? Granted,
there were times when the apostles didn’t quite grasp what was going on. Let’s
notice a few examples.

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.  (22)  Then Peter took him, and began to rebuke him,
saying, Be it far from thee, Lord: this shall not be unto thee.  (23) 
But he turned, and said unto Peter, Get thee behind me, Satan: thou art
an offence unto me: for thou savourest not the things that be of God, but those
that be of men
” (Matthew 16:21-23).

It can be seen that Peter obviously saw that Jesus was going
to die, but he apparently didn’t catch the importance of that death. After all,
Jesus had spoken on other occasions concerning His death [1]. Notice, however,
that Jesus corrected what Peter said. I’ll say it again, when Peter said
something that was contrary to God’s will, Jesus corrected Him! Another example
we have of this is found in Matthew 26:51-53.

And, behold, one of
them which were with Jesus stretched out his hand, and drew his sword, and
struck a servant of the high priest’s, and smote off his ear.  (52) 
Then said Jesus unto him, Put up again thy sword into his place: for all
they that take the sword shall perish with the sword.  (53) 
Thinkest thou that I cannot now pray to my Father, and he shall
presently give me more than twelve legions of angels
” (Matthew 26:51-53)?

Once more we see the same pattern: Peter had a
misunderstanding, and Jesus corrected Him. Let’s notice a final example [2].

Then cometh he to
Simon Peter: and Peter saith unto him, Lord, dost thou wash my feet?  (7) 
Jesus answered and said unto him, What I do thou knowest not now; but
thou shalt know hereafter.  (8)  Peter saith unto him, Thou shalt never wash
my feet. Jesus answered him, If I wash thee not, thou hast no part with me

(John 13:6-8).

Though the apostles were confused on several occasions, we
argue that that was not always the case. In fact, I put forth that they had a
greater knowledge of God’s scheme of redemption than we sometimes give them
credit for. I’ll offer up one example!

When they therefore
were come together, they asked of him, saying, Lord, wilt thou at this time
restore again the kingdom to Israel
” (Acts 1:6)? [3]

I’ve said in the past, and I’ve heard others say, that the
apostles just didn’t get it! I, however, object to this conclusion now, and
here’s why: 1) Jesus opened up their mind concerning the scriptures, 2) He
taught them from the law, prophets, and psalms concerning the kingdom, 3) He
didn’t correct the statement that a lot of people say they were confused
about [3].

I hope you’ll check in tomorrow to read more of this article!
[1] Matthew 12:38-40 ; John 10:17-18 ; John 12:23-26 ; etc
[2] Matthew 13:36 (see Matthew 13:51) ; John 2:22 ;  John 6:6-9 John 13:27-28 ; John 21:23
[3] While the author understands that ἀποκαθίστημι means “to restore to its former state,” I submit that the former state is not the physical, earthly reign, but rather to a right relationship with God that can only be found in Christ (see Matthew 15:24 ; John 4:22 ; Acts 28:20 ; Romans 11:15 ; Romans 15:8-9).
[4] New Commentary on Acts of the Apostles (McGarvey, 1892) ; The Acts of the Apostles (Boles, 1941) ; etc.

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