Sunday 9 September, 2018

Matthew 20:17-19

17 Now Jesus was going up to Jerusalem. On the way, he took the Twelve aside and said to them, 18 “We are going up to Jerusalem, and the Son of Man will be delivered over to the chief priests and the teachers of the law. They will condemn him to death 19 and will hand him over to the Gentiles to be mocked and flogged and crucified. On the third day he will be raised to life!”

If the disciples hadn’t got the message yet, then they’d have until the end
before they could understand. Could Jesus describe his destiny any more
clearly? You and I are aware of the bigger story, the trajectory of the
other gospels, the beginning of the Bible and the end; you know that the
all first disciples still got caught out by the climax: Jesus’ tragic
death and triumphant resurrection was a surprise to everyone.

My imagination is sparked by the thought that we Christians so often
suffer from the same problem. Even with the benefit of hindsight, even
with knowing the Jesus stories, even with living the Christian way we
might still refuse to accept the deeper significance what the Jesus life
can mean. Jesus takes us on the road to Jerusalem, a unique road that
only Jesus can navigate for us. A road marked by exactly the same type
of highs, lows, miracles, burdens and victories that we read about in
the New Testament. Imagine the overwhelming love and happiness the disciples
felt after the day Jesus returned from the grave and they started to
remember all the words he said. With 20-20 hindsight, remembering Jesus’
words, the troubles they had experienced would’ve been eclipsed by the
immense value of the treasure that was now in their possession: they had
lived with Jesus, talked with Jesus, hung out with Jesus. They had
walked the road to Jerusalem with Jesus. Now Jesus, and eternal life,
were theirs forever.

Dear God. Thank you for the clarity and meaning that your Spirit gives
me and my life history. Thank you for your hand of protection, provision
and comfort. Thank you for leading, inspiration and healing. Thank you
that my Jerusalem road ends in triumph with you. Thank you for the
overwhelming value of love and grace that you deposit into my life. Amen.


Written by Sam Stewart

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