Mark9:32 Disciples Afraid?


Anyone have some insight as to why the disciples were “afraid” in this passage? This has been bothering me since the Gospel reading at daily Mass earlier in the week.
Thank you.


Here’s a commentary that appears to hit most of the bases, if not all of them. :slight_smile:

Pulpit Commentary

Verse 32. - But they understood not the saying, and were afraid (ἐφοβοῦντο) to ask him; St. Matthew (Matthew 17:23) says, “They were exceeding sorry.” They saw that something very dreadful was about to happen. Their Master’s words and looks showed them this. But it was a mystery to them. All his words staggered them, but especially those which spoke of his rising again. They did not understand whether it was an entrance into a higher state or a restoration to a common life. They did not understand why he was to die, and how these words of his about his death could agree with those in which he had told them that his kingdom was at hand. Perhaps, on the whole, they inclined to the view most pleasing to them, that Christ would not die; for this was what they wished and most desired. And so they tried to persuade themselves that his words respecting his sufferings and death had some other hidden meaning; and were to be understood in a figurative sense and not a literal. But anyhow, they dreaded to ask him.


Ahhhhh…Thank you SO much. Makes sense as they go on to argue who is going to be greatest right after this…which a commentary said had them arguing about, not heaven, but powerful political positions they were hoping to soon enjoy once Jesus established his (earthly…they thought) Kingdom.


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