“When the days drew near for Him to be taken up, He set His face to go to Jerusalem” (Luke 9:51)
Jerusalem meant certain death for Jesus – a very painful death. He predicted it in Luke 18:31-33 “And He said to them, “See, we are going up to Jerusalem, and everything that is written about the Son of Man by the prophets will be accomplished. For He will be delivered over to the Gentiles and will be mocked and shamefully treated and spit upon. And after flogging Him, they will kill Him.”
When Jesus set His face to go to Jerusalem, He set himself to face death. As a man, we may face death courageously and calmly, but we desperately want to escape pain. For Jesus to purposefully walk into a trap of betrayal, humiliation, rejection and excruciating pain foreknown must be extremely difficult. But He not only purposefully, but willingly went to die in Jerusalem for our sake. “No one takes my life from me (He said), but I lay it down of my own accord” (John 10:18)
On the other hand, to set His face towards Jerusalem meant something very different for the disciples. They were thinking about their own grandeur in Luke 9:46: “An argument arose among them as to which of them was the greatest.” Jerusalem and glory were just around the corner. O what it would mean when Jesus took the throne!
What kind of disciples are we? What is your idea about following God?
Do you care for yours and yourself only? If you are, you got it wrong! “For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand, that we should walk in them.” (Eph 2:10)
How are you serving the God that you love and worship? Jesus said, “If anyone loves me, he will keep my Word, and my Father will love him, and we will come to him and make our home with him.” (John 14:23) “If you love me, obey my commandments.” (John 14:15)
One of Jesus’ most endearing instructions is found in John 21:15-17 when Jesus told Simon Peter – If you love me “Feed my lambs”;“Take care of my sheep”; “Feed my sheep”. This has universal application. It applies to all of us as a community of His people – “love one another”. Do not pass the buck to the pastor or the leaders. Yes, they have a special duty in their pastoral role. But you must also do your part.
Jesus has set an example for us – he was resolute in fulfilling the Father’s will. His disciples (eventually) caught it. They served him till God retired them in death.
To those who are serving – may I encourage you to be resolute in your service.
There is nothing more worthy and fulfilling then to do God’s bidding. To those who are not yet serving – it will be good if you can make time to serve in whatever capacity you can.
By Shi Pau Soon, Elder (YCKC Bulletin 11&12 June 2016)