The conception of the Messiah which Jesus caused to grow in the minds of the disciples was profoundly original in the sense that it took up all the elements--Charles Gore, Belief in Christ (1922) at 66-67.
of ancient prophecy and recent interpretation, and combined them in a whole in His own person in a whole which, while it realized their best spirit, was quite remote from the expectations of His contemporaries. According to Jesus' teaching, the
Messiahship had its basis in His humble and patient manhood, and it was to have its centre in His rejection and suffering and crucifixion, and its vindication in His resurrection and in the mission of His Spirit (for the resurrection of the dead and
the effusion of the Spirit were, as we have seen, elements in the ancient prophecies of the Messianic days), and it was to find its consummation in His Lordship in heaven and in His coming to judge the quick and dead.
But in spite of the special help given to them in the vision of the Transfiguration, the disciples had at present no ears for the note of glory beyond humiliation and through it. They could only attend to the announcements of utter shame and rejection
and death. Not only did He speak to them of His own death, but of the death of their national hopes. He told them quite plainly that Jerusalem was doomed, and that their city and temple would be destroyed; and He bade them accept this utter seeming failure, both of Him, their Master, and of all that their patriotic hearts held dear, as something inevitable and necessary for the kingdom to come. It was too much for them. It stirred in their minds a despondency and repulsion which overcame even their loyalty and their faith in Him.
There is hardly any tragedy in history which moves us more than the failure of the disciples. But it was a temporary tragedy. Their failure became an element in their strength and power.