Have you ever listened to a conversation where both people weren’t listening to each other, so two very different conversations were happening? And suddenly, they realize that neither one knows what the other is talking about. There is a look, an unmistakable look of confusion before they burst into laughter.

In John 8: 31-33, we see the believers talk back to Jesus in a defensive, almost nonsensical way. Obviously, they expected Jesus to say something very different from what they were hearing. I wonder if the scriptures recorded for us only part of their conversations. I’d wager there had been a fair bit of assumption and non-listening going on before this point. And it is at this point they realize Jesus is getting at something very different.

We could say, “Silly people, you should have asked questions or listened better!” But misunderstandings are just going to happen. We are tainted by sin and will cause confusion for one of a hundred different reasons. We will also be confused by each other; trust me, we’re all pretty weird underneath our cool, collected exteriors.

It wasn’t until Jesus rebuilt the temple in three days; it wasn’t until he rose again that people truly began to understand. Their misunderstanding is part of our scripture, and we can often relate to the misunderstanding in one way or another. We wrestle with confusion, and that’s okay. That’s what we are supposed to do. Faith is how we do life because understanding isn’t always possible at whatever stage of life we’re in at the moment.

If we try to comprehend what daytime looks like in the middle of the night, the rising sun opens our eyes to new possibilities. As the light of the world illuminates everything, understanding will come.

Jonathan Duncan

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