Reflections of the Pastor

Jesus took the Twelve aside and told them, “We are going up to Jerusalem, and everything that is written by the prophets about the Son of Man will be fulfilled. 32 He will be delivered over to the Gentiles. They will mock him, insult him and spit on him; 33 they will flog him and kill him. On the third day he will rise again.” [Luke 18:31-33 (KJV)].

            All the Synoptic writers relate this moment in Jesus’ life. This was Jesus’ final trip to Jerusalem. They were probably between Jericho ascending to Jerusalem. They were no doubt among a group of travelers in all probability from the same area of Galilee. As they walked, Jesus took his disciples apart to rehearse for a third time what was going to take place when they arrived in Jerusalem. He told the disciples they would return to Galilee. Jesus would not return.

            Mark alone tells us that there was something about the manner of Jesus that caused the disciples to be amazed and frightened. It should be noted that Jesus had been thinking about this journey for a long time. Luke 9:51 informs us, “…when the time was come that he should be received up, he stedfastly set his face to go to Jerusalem…”. It was a fixation of His face that revealed the determination of His spirit.

            This reminds us of Isaiah 50:7 where speaking of the Messiah the prophet wrote, “For the Lord GOD will help me; therefore shall I not be confounded: therefore have I set my face like a flint, and I know that I shall not be ashamed.” The face of Jesus was resolute so that it caused those who knew Him best to withdraw in fear from His presence.

            Many of us have had goals when we were younger about how we wanted to spend our lives. But circumstances have often entered in that forced us to change our goal. With Jesus, he had only one objective. It was to go to Jerusalem and give His life as a ransom for many.

            This is also true for you and me. Regardless of how circumstances may change our plans, we should never alter our objective to live for Jesus wherever life takes us. And that is how it should be. Jesus said, “A disciple is not above his teacher, nor a servant above his master.” [Matthew 10:24]. Jesus set our example and pattern for life by His resolute “setting His face” to go to Jerusalem, for in Jerusalem, the Father’s will would be accomplished in His life.

            That should be the determination of our lives. We should allow nothing to divert us from our “going up to our Jerusalem.”

Lord, give us all the resoluteness of heart and mind to fulfill Your purpose for our lives. For Jesus’ sake. Amen.”

Rev. Ivan Schwenn, October 22, 2021