Walking to Jerusalem


image: The Roman road to Jerusalem           Wikipedia, by David Bena

A couple of weeks ago, I wrote about Jesus’ final journey to Jerusalem (Road Trip!). In summary, Jesus started that final trip in a great crowd, but when He made His final steps, He was alone. Of course, we know that the cross was not the end of the story, and with the Resurrection, it was actually the beginning of a new story.

When Jesus set out on that last “road trip,” Luke 9:51 (NIV) tells us that “...Jesus resolutely set out for Jerusalem.” The King James version tells us that “He stedfastly set His face to go to Jerusalem.” This was no casual spur-of-the-moment journey. Rather, this was the journey that Jesus was literally born to make. And He knew it. Resolutely. Steadfastly. He had told the disciples at least three times what would happen (I’m using scripture from Luke, but the gospels of both Matthew and Mark contain the same predictions.) 

Luke 9:22 The Son of Man must suffer many things and be rejected by the elders and chief priests and scribes, and be killed, and on the third day be raised.”

Luke 9:44 Let these words sink into your ears: The Son of Man is about to be delivered into the hands of men.”

Luke 18:31-33 “And taking the twelve, 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, and on the third day He will rise.”

When Jesus set out, not only did he know exactly where He was going, but He also knew exactly what was going to happen.

Author Roy Gobel, in his Junkyard Wisdom Lent Devotions details Jesus’ final journey:

He’s walking to Jerusalem with people who are deeply engaged with his work. Many will die for him.

He’s walking to Jerusalem with a large crowd of people with a wide range of motivations for following. Some have good intentions, while others are more self-interested.

He’s walking to Jerusalem with people, like certain Pharisees, who are actively engaged in undermining him.

He’s walking to Jerusalem despite warnings from his inner group and people he meets along the way.

He’s walking to Jerusalem knowing that it’s his last road trip. He knows the pain and suffering awaiting him.

He’s walking to Jerusalem talking about worry, being lost, being hated, and the evil lurking in our hearts.

He’s walking to Jerusalem telling stories about the beauty of the kingdom of God.

He’s walking to Jerusalem and grows tired and gets hungry … and yet still has to attend parties with people who annoy him.

He’s walking to Jerusalem ready to let hypocrites know what he really thinks of their act.

He’s walking to Jerusalem looking for every chance to be generous and loving toward the sick, the victims of abuse, and the pure of heart.

He’s walking to Jerusalem giving everything he has to give—and still walking resolutely. Still understanding what will be asked of him when he arrives.

Jesus can seem like a walking contradiction. One moment filled with compassion, the next shouting “woe to you!” But the Jesus we meet in Luke’s road trip is deeply human. He is shockingly loving. He is unfathomably brave.

Roy Gobel concludes his “junkyard devotional” with these words: “That is a Jesus I want to walk with, whether at Lent or anytime the year.”

Me, too, Roy. Me, too

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