A classic movie premiered in 1988 that would advance Tom Hanks’ career, earning him his first Oscar nomination. The movie was Big.

It’s the story of 12-year-old Josh struggling through pre-adolescence. He makes a wish at a magic carnival game one night and the next morning wakes up to discover he’s still 12, but in the body of a 35-year-old man.

Eventually, Josh gains employment at a toy corporation and is included in a corporate board meeting to review and discuss a line of new toys. As 12-year-old Josh enthusiastically explores the new toys, he’s unimpressed and confused that the toys just aren’t fun. He tentatively raises his hand and when called on, replies sincerely, “I don’t get it.” The executives impatiently explain and continue the meeting but Josh raises his hand again with the same puzzled expression, “I still don’t get it.”

I almost see the same perplexed look on the 11 apostles’ faces in John 16. Jesus has mere minutes left with his closest friends, companions he’s spent every day and night with for the past three years. His words to them in verses 16-33 would be his very last in that unforgettable upper room. He stooped low to wash their feet there, demonstrating a new level of love. He named a trusted friend his betrayer-to-be. He reprimanded Peter, “the rock” as he’d called him. He encouraged, comforted, promised, instructed, warned, prepared, and equipped his followers with critical truths and wisdom for all that would lie ahead.

The apostles listened to and loved their Rabbi, but did they get it? Did they understand?

Listen to their replies …
“Lord, we don’t know where you’re going …”
“We don’t know the way …”
“Will you show us the Father?”
“Why are you doing it that way?”
“What does he mean?”
“We don’t understand what he is saying …”

Can you relate?

Ever feel like raising your hand and saying, “Um … I don’t get it.” “Why is this happening?” “It shouldn’t be this way.” “I, I still don’t get it.”

Confusion on this side of eternity is normal. Like the earliest Jesus followers, we’re simply not going to always understand. God has been at work since day one of creation and yet sometimes life doesn’t seem to make sense. This is where faith comes in. When life throws you a wicked curve ball, faith says, “I’ll still follow.” When God’s not acting as you want him to, faith says, “I will obey.” When it seems like the bad guys keep winning, faith says, “I trust you’re in control, God.” When you want to raise your hand and say, “I don’t get it!”, faith whispers, “Take heart, he’s overcome the world.”

Donielle Winter
EFCC Member

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