27TH MAY 2022
MISUNDERSTANDING CAN LEAD TO UNDERSTANDING
The question of misunderstanding is often the literally style in which John, the evangelist uses as way of developing the teachings of Jesus to the point of eventually making us understand what Jesus means.
For example, Nicodemus did not understand what Jesus meant by saying that one cannot enter the kingdom of God without being born again. He asked Jesus,” How can a grown man be born again? He certainly cannot enter his mother’s womb and be born a second time!” Jesus answered him,” I am telling you the truth, no one can enter the kingdom of God without being born of water and the Holy Spirit.”
Here, we see a movement from misunderstanding, then to explanation, to questioning and finally to understanding.
Another example of misunderstanding is when the disciples of Jesus find Him at the well talking to the Samaritan woman. Prior to that the disciples had gone to buy food in town and on coming back they begged Jesus saying,” Teacher, have something to eat.”
But Jesus answered them,” I have food to eat that that you know nothing about.” This made the disciples ask among themselves,” Could somebody have brought him food?” and Jesus answered them,” My food is to obey the will of the one who sent me and to finish the work He gave me to do.”
Why is Jesus misunderstood in the Gospel of John because even yesterday’s Gospel passage still from John the disciples couldn’t understand what Jesus meant by saying,” A little while, and you will see me no more again a little while, and you will see me?”
The reason Jesus is misunderstood in the Gospel of John is because people take literally what He says yet what He says is impossible if just taken at face value.
This shows that there is a deeper hidden meaning to be dug out from the teachings of Jesus, and in today’s Gospel reading which is a continuation of yesterday’s, Jesus explains what it means when He says,” A little while, and you will see me no more; again a little while and you will see me.”
Jesus makes them understand by giving the example of a woman in labor. The joy that the woman experiences is necessarily preceded by pain and anguish and could not have happened had the latter not been there.
The disciples have to pass through the sadness of the physical absence of Jesus before experiencing deep down in their hearts, the new presence of Jesus, that is, the Holy Spirit, just a little while.
Misunderstanding can make someone assume wrongly and thus make wrong decisions and it can even make someone confused and frustrated.
Sometimes we misunderstand issues due to ignorance, due to taking things literally, not wanting to think deeply beyond what we experience or even due to a difficult complex situation.
Though we prefer situations that are easily understandable including faith-based situations, misunderstanding makes us ask questions and seek answers, which helps you understand yourself and the other person better. Being misunderstood makes you understand your aim, and whenever Jesus was misunderstood, He always explained Himself in a way that showed that He knew His purpose.
Being misunderstood is also a moment of being understood, and in this our faith can be strong