As they were gathering in Galilee, Jesus said to them, " The Son of Man is about to be delivered into the hands of men, and they will kill him, and he will be raised on the third day." And they were greatly distressed. - Matthew 17:22-23, [ESV]
Can you imagine the range of emotions that the disciples experienced in one day, especially Peter, James, and John? The three aforementioned experienced a night of prayer on the mountain with Jesus that they would never forget, where they saw him transfigured, chatting with Moses and Elijah, and having the cloud that they had heard of so very often while growing up -- that cloud that was the very representation of the very presence of God when Moses would meet with God in the tent of meeting -- descended upon them and God spoke to them from the cloud. This was the night that they would never forget -- a night that absolutely terrified them, leaving them in awe Jesus once again.
Then, they come down from the mountain to see a father pleading with Jesus to heal his boy of the demon that was torturing his son. The father had asked Jesus'disciples to drive out the demon but they were unable to do so. The man then pleaded with Jesus, and Jesus fulfilled his request.
The disciples had to be on a high -- a spiritual high that would leave them only wanting more. It's like one of those "camp highs" that we get when we get away for a weekend in a retreat center. When we come down the mountain, we are ready to take on the world. But right after Jesus is transfigured before the three disciples, and after he heals the boy, he tells them the news that he is going to be killed, but on the third day he would rise from the dead. This had to be hard for the disciples to hear, because it would make no sense that Jesus, the powerful Jesus that they just witnessed again, could become the victim of anyone. There was no way that this could be true. The only problem is, it was true. Jesus came to die on a cross, and to rise from the dead. This did not make sense to the disciples, for they did not understand the true will of God.
Have you ever experienced this? Have you ever had an amazing thing happened, something so amazing that the only way to describe it is an encounter with the God of the universe? And then all of a sudden, it seems like everything breaks apart. You get the bad news. The unimaginable happens. You are broken. You are hurting. And the first thing that you ask is, "How could this be?" May this passage remind us all that God has a will and that his will so very often is misunderstood. It is hard to get the bad news after the miraculous happens, but know that there is a God who totally understands how you feel when it does happen. Trust. He knows what he's doing.