“But they did not understand the saying.” Jesus taught about his suffering, death, and resurrection many times. However, in spite of Jesus’ clearly stating he would suffer, die, and be raised from the dead, the disciples never understood what he meant. This gives us some very important insight into how the Jews at the time of Jesus viewed their Messiah. Just as they never expected a virgin birth (note Mary’s reaction to the angel’s message--Luke 1:34), they never expected their Messiah to suffer and die. This verse and others, such as Luke 18:34, make that plain. Even after his death and resurrection, upon seeing the empty tomb, they did not understand what had happened (John 20:9). It took Jesus personally appearing to a number of people for the disciples to believe he had been raised from the dead. Jesus first appeared to Mary Magdalene (John 20:16), then to the women who came to the tomb (Matt. 28:9), then to Peter (this appearing is not recorded in Scripture; we are only told that it happened; Luke 24:34; 1 Cor. 15:5); then to the two men on the road to Emmaus (Luke 24:31), then to the disciples as a group (Luke 24:36ff). Even with all that evidence, Thomas, who was not with the disciples when Jesus appeared, still did not believe until he had personally seen the resurrected Lord (John 20:26-28). Ultimately, it took both understanding the Scriptures and seeing the resurrected Christ to fully confirm their belief in the resurrected Christ (Luke 24:45; and see commentary on Matthew 16:21).