Last week we reflected on the glory of Christ in His transfiguration. This week Jesus begins His final journey to Jerusalem in earnest.
As they were coming down from the mountain, he commanded them that they should tell no one what things they had seen, until after the Son of Man had risen from the dead. 10 They kept this saying to themselves, questioning what the “rising from the dead” meant. … 14 Coming to the disciples, he saw a great multitude around them, and scribes questioning them. (Mark 9:9,10,14)
As I mentioned last week, we don’t know on which mountain the transfiguration took place. It might have been Mount Tabor. It might have been Mount Hermon. Whatever, the case, when Jesus, Peter, James, and John came down from the mountain, a crowd had gathered. The disciples He had left at the foot of the mountain had been unable to heal a possessed son. It was another opportunity for Jesus to heal, to teach, and to preach the Kingdom (Mark 9:17-29).
Even in the midst of the clamoring crowd, Jesus is focused on fulfilling His destiny. “For he was teaching his disciples, and said to them, ‘The Son of Man is being handed over to the hands of men, and they will kill him; and when he is killed, on the third day he will rise again.'” (Mark 9:31)
The gospels then tell us that Jesus and His disciples passed through Galilee and came to Capernaum (Matthew 17:24, Mark 9:33).
Around this time, Luke 9:51 tells us “It came to pass, when the days were near that he should be taken up, he intently set his face to go to Jerusalem”.
So, now, the journey will begin in earnest.
But before we go there, let us consider the attitudes we see in these passages.
Jesus clearly knows what He faces in Jerusalem. He has repeatedly told His disciples what will happen. Although fully God, He is also fully man. As we will see in Gethsemane, it is with great dread and understanding of His human suffering that Christ sets his face resolutely towards the cross. As Christians, we seek to be more and more like Christ. Are you so dedicated, willing to sacrifice everything, to be obedient to God’s will and to bring salvation to those you love?
Most of us tend, instead, to be more like Jesus’ disciples. We are told that on the way “An argument arose among them about which of them was the greatest. “ (Luke 9:46) In our sinful natures, we are tempted to focus more on our own good and our own glory than on God’s will and His glory.
Let us be like the father of the possessed son. We have faith, but we know that it is weak.
Jesus said to him, “If you can believe, all things are possible to him who believes.”
24 Immediately the father of the child cried out with tears, “I believe. Help my unbelief!”
Let us look to Christ not only to meet our earthly needs, but much more to strengthen our faith and to meet our eternal spiritual needs!
The map at the top of this post is a snapshot of a portion of the gameboard for Journeys with Jesus.
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Note: all scripture quotes, unless otherwise noted, are from the World English Bible which is in the public domain.