Hindsight

hind·​sight: perception of the significance and nature of events after they have occurred.

Our emotions or our preconceived thoughts can obscure the ability to understand what is happening at the moment. This may be why God has given us two ears and one mouth, so we listen twice as much as we speak.

The ability to observe and analyze what’s happening at the moment is a gift. Our perception affects the way we process what is happening as it is happening.

That’s why hindsight is such a great teacher. Hindsight is always 20/20.

  • In June 2010, Tesla went public, selling stocks at $21. If you bought 100 shares, your $2100 investment today would be worth $320,195.00.
  • In May 1997, Amazon.com went public at $18 a share. Had you invested $1,800, your initial investment would today be worth $3,655,512.00.
  • In March 1986, Microsoft went public at $21. Had you invested $2,100, your investment today would be worth $9,918,130.00.

There’s nothing we can do about the past, but what we now know should change how we see the past, how we live in the present, and how we view the future.

In the Gospel of John 12, Jesus heads to Jerusalem, and yet the crowds nor His disciples fully understand what’s happening.

With the Passover at hand, there were literally hundreds of thousands of people converging on Jerusalem to celebrate.  The number of people and Jesus’ popularity complicated the Pharisee’s efforts to dispose of Him.

Walking with the crowds, Jesus and the disciples begin their pilgrimage to Jerusalem. As the disciples and crowds see this as a joyous celebration, Jesus understands that this is the path to His death, not just any death but death by crucifixion.  

As the crowds see Him, they celebrate by waving and laying down palm branches and singing Hosanna, which translates from the Hebrew as “save now, help now.” It can be compared to a person drowning, desperately attempting to get someone’s attention to rescue them.

Yet, their words and actions did not fully comprehend the mission, purpose, or person of Jesus. The people were looking for someone to rescue them from the tyrannical rule of the Romans.

The crowds believed their single pressing issue was political.  If they could overthrow the Roman Empire, everything would be alright.

Our greatest issue is not political or even physical but spiritual. Sin is humanity’s single greatest issue.

Unrestrained sin hurts others, destroys self, and even worse impacts where you spend eternity. The Bible declares that God has placed eternity in our hearts. It’s a longing many are trying to fill with temporary things.  

We think the next relationship will quench that desire, having the latest and greatest possession, or a bigger house, a newer car, or the next promotion will satisfy that craving, but it won’t.

Nothing in this life can fill the void that only Heaven can satisfy.  This is why Jesus came to pay the price for your sin debt and give you a new life now and eternal life when this life is over.

The crowds and the disciple’s predetermined perspective caused them to see the true meaning of Jesus’ life and what was happening.

Jesus could not have made it clearer. Jesus fulfilled at least 300 prophecies in His earthly ministry. As He enters into Jerusalem, He fulfills another.

“Rejoice greatly, O daughter of Zion!
    Shout aloud, O daughter of Jerusalem!
Behold, your king is coming to you;
    righteous and having salvation is he,
humble and mounted on a donkey,
    on a colt, the foal of a donkey.”

Zechariah 9:9

Zechariah prophesied that your king would come to Jerusalem “having salvation is he,” meaning He would provide salvation. He also said that He would be mounted on a donkey, specifically “on a foal of a donkey.” A foal is a young donkey.

Jesus came to bring salvation, not political reform.

John 12:16 informs how only in hindsight, after Jesus’ resurrection, did the disciples understand these things.

To corroborate the crowd’s mindset that Jesus was starting a political revolution, we read in Matthew 20:21 that the mother of James and John asks Jesus that her two sons sit on your right and left in your kingdom.

She wanted to secure her son’s position in ruling with Jesus after the defeat of Rome. Had they been thinking about the kingdom of Heaven, they would have never assumed such a role, as indicated by Jesus’ response.

The Pharisees “reveal their hand” and expose their jealousy of Jesus, saying, “You see that you are gaining nothing. Look, the world has gone after him.” John 12:19

If left uncontrolled, jealousy will destroy you. Listen to the warnings the Bible gives about jealousy.

“For where jealousy and selfish ambition exist, there will be disorder and every vile practice.” James 3:16

“For jealousy makes a man furious, and he will not spare when he takes revenge.” Proverbs 6:34

“Surely vexation kills the fool, and jealousy slays the simple.” Job 5:2

Avoid jealousy at all costs!

As we look back at Jesus’ life and mission, do you have clarity in hindsight? Are we looking to Jesus for something other than salvation? The correct understanding will radically change how you see life and what you are living for!

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