March 22, 2018

Turning to Jerusalem

Luke 9:51-58; Hebrews 12:1-3

As the time approached for him to be taken up to heaven, Jesus resolutely set out for Jerusalem.

—  Luke 9:51

After three years of teaching and healing to announce the good news of the kingdom of God, Jesus knew that it was time for him to go to Jerusalem. There he would enter the city as the promised Messiah, cleanse the temple, teach the truth about his Father (Luke 19:28-48), be arrested and beaten, die on a cross, and be “taken up to heaven.”

Jesus’ determination to endure all this so focused his journey that not even the inhospitality of a Samaritan village distracted him. When his disciples wanted to make them pay for their insolence, he instead rebuked the disciples and moved along to another village. As he put it, “the Son of Man [had] no place to lay his head.” Jesus knew he had nowhere else to go but to Jerusalem and the cross, and nothing would hinder him.

Because the goal of the Christian life is to crucify our passions with Christ, we need to, with great determination, keep our focus directly on Jesus and seek to follow him.

So let us keep our eyes on him who endured “opposition from sinners,” including the humiliation of refused hospitality. For our sake he even “endured the cross.” Keeping focused on all he has done for us, we will not “grow weary and lose heart.” And, as he has promised, our crucified and risen Lord will be with us every step of the way.

Lord, keep my eyes on Jesus, so that nothing may distract me from following him. Jesus, thank you for paying the price for all my sins on the cross. In your name, Amen.

About the author — Arie C. Leder

Dr. Arie C. Leder is the Martin J. Wyngaarden Senior Professor of Old Testament Studies at Calvin Theological Seminary in Grand Rapids, Michigan. He previously served as pastor at Ebenezer Christian Reformed Church, Trenton, Ontario, and with Christian Reformed World Missions in Latin America. He teaches courses on the Pentateuch and on historical books of the Old Testament.

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