When the plans of God and the path ahead contain pain and suffering, we might miss part of the message. 

Mark 9:
30They left that place and passed through Galilee. Jesus did not want anyone to know where they were, 31because he was teaching his disciples. He said to them, "The Son of Man is going to be betrayed into the hands of men. They will kill him, and after three days he will rise." 32But they did not understand what he meant and were afraid to ask him about it.

In this instance Jesus clearly states what will happen to Him.  But were the disciples persuaded that it would literally happen?

Jesus had told them many things with symbolic meaning.  He would tell parables to illustrate God’s story.  His conversations often revealed things that people thought were hidden and unspoken.

When he talked about his suffering and resurrection, the disciples were afraid to delve into the meaning.  What were they afraid of?  Were these the words of someone who was becoming mentally unstable?  Were they afraid to talk about the real possibility of His martyrdom? 

Did dissociation from His words hold back the fear that they too might suffer and die for following Him?  There are reasons why we fall short of believing His words.

Jesus was being direct and literal in His words.  They would have been more comfortable if He were speaking figuratively of some abstract truth.