Why was Jesus so misunderstood?

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Jesus often said things that were easily misunderstood and rarely did He explain himself. Michael Card says that many people who read the Gospels are amazed by how often Jesus seems completely content to be misunderstood. Why is this?

“As the Gospels progress, Jesus will become increasingly lonely until finally, on the cross, He’s all alone. His luminous answers were all misunderstood.”

Through out the book of John we see instances where Jesus is misunderstood. For example, He commands His disciples to eat of his flesh and drink of his blood.

“That is way over the top to say that to a bunch of observant Jews. He has a perfect opportunity to explain Himself, but He doesn’t do it. He’s not there to explain himself; He’s there to speak the truth.”

Why doesn’t Jesus explain Himself more?

“Jesus is very interested in people believing without seeing or trusting His Word straight on. He does not like people asking for signs. He does not like when the Pharisees ask for a sign in exchange for their belief, He won’t do that. He wants people to believe without seeing. He wants us to have faith without having everything explained.”

Jesus wasn’t just seeking to increase the attendance of His fan club. He wanted disciples who would follow Him even unto death.

“Jesus will do a miracle and He’ll tell people not to tell anyone. Sometimes the miracles didn’t always work on his behalf. He’s so weighed down by people that He can’t do what He’s come to do. He ended up with curiosity seekers and people just wanting a free meal.”

As Christ-followers, we should expect to be misunderstood by our culture. Despite this, we can rest assured that Christ was misunderstood by the world as well.


Michael Card is an American Christian singer-songwriter, musician, author, and radio host from Franklin, Tennessee.

Featured Songs: We Fall Down – Steven Curtis Chapman; Find Me At the Feet of Jesus – Christy Nockels; Jesus, We Love You – Bethel Music

John: The Gospel of Wisdom


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