“As the time approached for him to be taken up to heaven, he resolutely set out for Jerusalem, and sent messengers ahead of him.”
Such a solitary, almost forgettable passage among many in the Gospels– yet could there be any one more important than this one to illustrate the character of Jesus?
Consider- in Luke’s account, Jesus’ ministry is nearing a pinnacle. He has preached and worked miracles, his fame and notoriety is spreading, his controversy is growing. Jesus, ever the traveler, knows that it is now time to journey to the inevitable–and terrible–end. There is much work to be done on the way; until he reached Jerusalem, he will commission the 72 disciples, cure on the Sabbath, speak many, many parables on faith, on money, on the prodigal son, on mercy, and so on.
But the tide and the trade winds have permanently shifted, and Jesus knows this: He will meet his end in Jerusalem.
In that, are we not stunned by His resolve? Jesus knows the torture and suffering that He will undergo–and yet He resolutely set out for Jerusalem, and sent messengers ahead of Him…..
How hard would it be for us mere mortals to do likewise–move into the face of destruction for a greater love? Impossible! And yet–not really. For the depth of the love we have for those in our care, the more readily we would march into a hail of destruction, a life and death situation–no questions asked. What parent, who’s child was facing certain death–would not say, ‘here I am, take me!!’?
And, to make sure that all knew He was on His way, ‘he sent messengers ahead of him’. He has accepted the Father’s Will to its fullest; He has been given his mission and there is no way He is going to fail.
Dear friends– let us resolve again to march off into the cruel world, face trials and burdens, come face to face with our enemy, be willing to be scared, afraid, feel panic, feel as though our world is crumbling under our feet–all for Him and His greater love. Let nothing stop you, no matter how frightened you are in the darkness, no matter how complete the absence of clarity. He showed us how to do it, and He walks with us through it today. Amen.
May God bless you this day, and always.