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When Did The Apostles Really Understand?

Despite all of the time that Peter spent with Jesus Christ, he, and all of the others, no exceptions, still didn't quite get it. They understood His teachings, as far as their carnal minds alone permitted, but the Holy Spirit had not yet fully come upon them. That's not to say that they didn't understand that Jesus was the Messiah, and that He came to rule, but they believed that the Kingdom of God would begin then, and that Jesus would rule as a human king, then (non-Christian Jews today are still awaiting a human messiah). Jesus told them what was coming, but they just didn't yet have the "ears" to fully understand what He was telling them e.g.

"From that time forth began Jesus to show unto His disciples, how that He must go unto Jerusalem, and suffer many things of the elders and chief priests and scribes, and be killed, and be raised again the third day. Then Peter took Him, and began to rebuke Him, saying, Be it far from Thee, Lord: this shall not be unto Thee" (Matthew 16:21-22 KJV)

"Be it far from Thee, Lord: this shall not be unto Thee"

On the fateful night when the mob came to arrest Jesus, Peter, and the others, still believed that Jesus was about to lead His followers in an uprising against, not only the ruling Romans (see Ancient Empires - Rome), but the religious authorities (see Sanhedrin) who rejected Him. When Peter drew his sword against the mob, it was intended to prevent Jesus' arrest, and to prevent Jesus' death - the sacrifice of the Messiah was something that they wanted to prevent at all costs! They just didn't get it, yet.

Mount Of Olives Malchus was the personal servant of the high priest Caiaphas. He had the unfortunate fate of being the first one that Peter began his defense of Jesus with - Peter cut off his right ear (something that may indicate that Peter was left-handed - as they faced each other, Malchus' right ear would be on the same side as Peter's left hand, which had a sword in it) in the garden of Gethsemane.

It should be considered that Peter almost certainly wasn't just trying to cut off the man's ear, he was trying to take off the man's head - not as a criminal act of murder, but as a military act of war. Malchus survived only because he dodged sufficiently so that the sword just grazed his sideways-ducked head, cleanly taking off the ear, as Peter swung the weapon with everything he had (anyone who has had experience in the use of a sword or a saber knows exactly what Peter did, or tried to do, and that just taking off an ear is a lucky, or unlucky, depending on which end of the sword you're at, blooper).

Bold and impetuous Peter was the first to attempt to defend Jesus from arrest at the Garden of Gethsemane (The Mount Of Olives is shown in the photograph):

"When Jesus had spoken these words, He went forth with His disciples over the brook Cedron [i.e. the Kidron Valley], where was a garden, into the which He entered, and His disciples."

"And Judas also, which betrayed Him [see Was Judas Necessary?], knew the place: for Jesus ofttimes resorted thither with His disciples. Judas then, having received a band of men and officers from the chief priests and Pharisees, cometh thither with lanterns and torches and weapons."

"Jesus therefore, knowing all things that should come upon him, went forth, and said unto them, Whom seek ye?"

"They answered Him, Jesus of Nazareth [see Nazarene]."

"Jesus saith unto them, I am He."

"And Judas also, which betrayed Him, stood with them."

"As soon then as He had said unto them, I am He, they went backward, and fell to the ground."

"Then asked He them again, Whom seek ye?"

"And they said, Jesus of Nazareth."

"Jesus answered, I have told you that I am He: if therefore ye seek Me, let these go their way: That the saying might be fulfilled, which He spake, Of them which Thou gavest Me have I lost none."

"Then Simon Peter having a sword drew it, and smote the high priest's servant, and cut off his right ear. The servant's name was Malchus." (John 18:1-10 KJV)

The healing of the injured Malchus was the last recorded miracle of Jesus Christ during His human lifetime:

"And one of them smote the servant of the high priest, and cut off his right ear."

"And Jesus answered and said, Suffer ye thus far. And He touched his ear, and healed him." (Luke 22:50-51 KJV)

Jesus then explained that if He were about to take over the world at that time (see The Coming World Dictator and Regime Change), He wouldn't need the help of humans to do it:

"Thinkest thou that I cannot now pray to My Father, and He shall presently give Me more than twelve legions of angels? [see The Prince of Peace] But how then shall the Scriptures [see Which Bible Did Jesus Use?] be fulfilled, that thus it must be?" (Matthew 26:53-54 RSV)

Fact Finder: (a) Even after finding the empty tomb on the resurrection morning, did Peter, and the others, still not understand that Jesus had to rise from the dead? (b) Just prior to His ascension, did Jesus Christ at last enable them, by means of the Holy Spirit upon them, to fully understand what He had been teaching them for years?
(a) John 20:9 (b) Luke 24:45-53

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