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So Just How Dumb Were Jesus’ Disciples? The Resurrection, Part I

By Robert Conner ~

According to Mark, generally regarded as the earliest surviving gospel, Jesus repeatedly foretells his humiliation, crucifixion, and resurrection.

“He began to teach them that it was necessary for the son of man to suffer many things and be rejected by the elders and the high priests and the experts in the law and be killed and rise [from the dead] after three days.” (Mark 8:31)

“He taught his disciples, telling them, ‘The son of man is to be delivered into men’s hands and they will kill him and three days after being killed, he will rise.’” (Mark 9:31)

“He again began to say to the Twelve, ‘The son of man will be handed over to the chief priests and the experts in the law and they will condemn him to death and hand him over to the Romans. They will ridicule him and spit on him and flog and kill him and after three days he will rise.’” (Mark 10:32b-34)

According to the gospels, the apostles witness the very public resurrection of the son of the widow of Nain (Luke 7:11-17), the more private raising of Jairus’ daughter (Luke 8:49-57), the dramatic resurrection of Lazarus after three days in the tomb (John 11:1-44), and the crowds that subsequently gathered hoping to see Lazarus who Jesus has raised from the dead (John 12:9). Before calling Lazarus forth from the grave, Jesus declares, “I am the resurrection and the life.” (John 11:25)

In spite of all this alleged first-hand, eyewitness experience, the apostles remain the Twelve Stooges, the dumbest yokels in all of yokeldom—they can’t understand what Jesus means by ‘rising from the dead’ (Mark 9:32) even after the Master calls them aside and Jesus explains it all (Mark 10:32).

Let’s take the Apostle Peter as an example of the disciples’ terminal stupidity. Jesus heals Peter’s mother-in-law (Mark 1:29-31), Peter witnesses Jesus’ glorious transfiguration (Mark 9:2), and Peter even walks with Jesus on water (Matthew 14:22-33). Peter sees Jesus multiply loaves and fishes to feed a multitude, casting out demons, calming a storm, healing the lame and blind, and Peter declares of Jesus, “You are the Christ, the Son of the living God.” (Matthew 16:16).

So after the women—not the apostles—discover Jesus’ tomb is empty and Peter runs to the tomb to see it for himself (John 20:3-4), guess what Peter and his pals do next: “‘I'm going fishing,’” Simon Peter told them, and they said, “‘We'll go with you.’” So they went out and got into the boat, but that night they caught nothing.” (John 21:3) As Jesus said of the long-anticipated coming of God’s Very Own Damn Messiah, “many prophets and righteous people longed to see what you see, but they didn't see it, and they longed to hear what you hear, but they didn't hear it.” (Matthew 13:17).

This is only one of several mind-blowing non-sequiturs and absurd plot twists in the resurrection stories. In the next installment we’ll look at a couple more and propose an explanation.

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