I was reading the end of Matthew. The actions of disciples are mentioned several times.
The disciples forgot to take bread. The disciples came to Jesus on the side and said, “Why couldn’t we do that?” The disciples came to Jesus and said, “Who is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven?” The disciples rebuked parents for bringing children to Jesus. The disciples heard Jesus and were astonished. Ten of of the disciples were indignant with two of the disciples. The disciples were amazed when a fig tree died after Jesus spoke to it. The disciples were indignant about the waste when a woman anointed Jesus with perfume. The disciples did as Jesus directed them. The disciples fell asleep. The disciples fell asleep again. The disciples all left Him and fled. A group of women, who were disciples, kept watch while he died. A disciple named Joseph asked for his body, so he could bury it. Right before he left, some of disciples worshiped him and some were doubtful.
When I read those actions while looking at a page, it’s easy to be critical or sarcastic. When I stand inside the story, looking at the sheer ordinariness of Jesus and the power of Rome and the random awesome destructiveness of nature and the ingrained fear of religious structures, it’s easy to understand their surprise, as reported by Matthew from his embedded role. He could have made them look better, but instead he made them look normal. He made them look like us.
Which actually gives me comfort. That when I have all those reactions, I’m not likely to be fired by Jesus any more than they were. Neither are you. And he’s happy to have us along in the process as he teaches us how to follow.