In reading the Gospels, never ascribe to obscurity, that which can be adequately explained by plain speech. Allow yourself the courage and freedom to read the text as it is written. What is it simply saying? What is He really doing? How is He actually acting? In most cases, you are as good a judge as anybody to figure it out. The Gospels were not written for theologians. They were written, and meant to be understood, by shepherds on a hill, by anyone who could hear them and hear from the Holy Spirit.
In reading the Gospels, never ascribe to mystery, that which can be adequately explained by plain speech.
Don’t just read the words, read the situation. These are real people, they are doing real things, and they are feeling real things. Take the time and effort to put yourself into their world. Act as if He is talking to you. How would you feel? What would you do? Then put yourself in His place and act as if you are the one saying it. What emotion would you be exhibiting?
We in an effort to ‘act like Jesus,’ end up not acting like Him at all. Our actions many times are based on false stereotypes, based on theological contrivances and not on real life emotions and actions. We put our own religious masks on Him and His men. He might not have been just like you and I but He was 100% man, and His disciples were just like you and I.
It was all written for a purpose. All the nuance is important. Let the details come out by thinking it through and visualizing what is happening. Let Jesus be Jesus, and let the people around Him be themselves.
Picture this scene taken from Mark 9:2-29 – Jesus is coming down from being in the glory of God and talking directly with Moses and Elijah about His future passion, and before He is even all the way down the mountain He harshly rebukes His disciples in front of everybody for not being able to cast an unclean spirit out of a child. Then He gets indignant with the boy’s father when He is questioned about His own ability to cast it out. Jesus was frustrated and angry, His disciples were embarrassed, the boy’s father was terrified, but the boy got delivered. It takes real effort to drain the life out of that. Just another wild day in the life of our Lord and the Gospel.