As the time approached for him to be taken up to heaven, Jesus resolutely set out for Jerusalem.
Maybe you have heard the pessimistic observation “Resolutions were meant to be broken.” Did you make any resolutions last month, as the new year began? If so, how have you done with those? Some people resolve to lose some weight, or to be more kind to a difficult person, or to be more faithful in Bible reading. But it’s hard to keep resolutions. Most of us don’t.
Today’s reading tells us that Jesus “resolutely set out for Jerusalem.” For him, it was more than an improvement program; Jesus was fully aware that suffering and death on a cross awaited him. He knew he had to die in our place to pay for our sins. And he was determined to accomplish his mission. Later we read, “Jesus went … teaching as he made his way to Jerusalem” (Luke 13:22). He was resolute about doing his Father’s will, even if it meant rejection and death.
Jesus also faced rejection along the way. Because he was headed to Jerusalem, he wasn’t welcomed in a Samaritan village. What a tragic rejection based on national identity! The disciples reacted as we might have done, but Jesus rebuked their desire for revenge. He came to redeem, not to destroy. Later he said, “The Son of Man came to seek and to save the lost” (Luke 19:10). So he continued on to Jerusalem, to fulfill his purpose for our sake.
Jesus, thank you for your willingness to go to Jerusalem, to pay the price to save us. Help us to follow wherever you lead us, no matter what the cost. In the Spirit’s power we pray. Amen.
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