The second prediction of the passion
Gospel Reading: Lk 9:43b-45
they were all amazed at his every deed, Jesus said to his disciples, “Pay attention to what I am telling you. The Son of Man is to be handed over to men.” But they did not understand this saying; its meaning was hidden from them so that they should not understand it, and they were afraid to ask him about this saying.
REFLECTION The Son of Man is to be handed over
The culmination of Jesus’ public ministry in Galilee is Peter’s confession of him as “the Messiah of God” (Lk 9:20). But immediately Jesus clarifies that contrary to public expectations of the Messiah as a glorious figure, he is the suffering one. He then predicts that he will suffer greatly, be rejected by the elders, and be killed. He then invites his disciples to follow him on the way of the cross.
The Gospel contains the second prediction of the passion. This underscores the fact that the suffering of Jesus will indeed come to pass. There is no equivocation at all: “The Son of Man is to be handed over to men.” The passive form “is to be handed over” is understood in the theological sense. It is a divine passive. The connotation is that the betrayal of Jesus – through the action of his adversaries – is within the sphere of the divine plan of saving men. Jesus’ enemies act according to their nature and intention, which God respects. God, however, integrates their roles in the story of salvation such that the story proceeds according to God’s intentions and not men’s.
God can write straight out of crooked lines. How has this been true of your personal experience?