Today’s Text: Luke 9:51
For six months, Jesus repeatedly prepared His disciples for the fact that He would go to Jerusalem, suffer many things, be killed and raised from the dead (Mt. 16:21). Rather than recoiling at the thought of what He would suffer, Jesus adamantly refused to be dissuaded. Luke tells us,
“Now it came to pass, when the time had come for Him to be received up, that He steadfastly set His face to go to Jerusalem, and sent messengers before . . .”
Jesus “steadfastly set His face” for the journey; He was determined, resolute. Journeying to Jerusalem was a vital part of God’s plan and He moved with intentionality to bring it to pass. Jesus was in complete control of His destiny. Significantly, the prophet Isaiah foresaw Messiah’s steadfast resolve testifying, “Therefore I have set My face like a flint, and I know that I will not be ashamed” (Isa. 50:7).
Peter vehemently denounced the plan saying, “Far be it from You, Lord; this shall not happen to You!” (Mt. 16:22). Underscoring His resolve to go to Jerusalem, Jesus reproved Peter in the strongest terms, “Get behind Me, Satan! You are an offense to Me, for you are not mindful of the things of God, but the things of men” (Mt. 16:23).
Even as He journeyed toward Jerusalem, a contingency of sympathetic religious leaders intercepted Jesus’ company warning Him, “Get out and depart from here, for Herod wants to kill You” (Lk. 13:31). Jesus calmly assured that Herod had no ability to affect His plans. He would continue toward Jerusalem undeterred.
Contrary to the way events of Holy Week are generally portrayed, Jesus was not a victim of circumstances. Every event along the way—each miraculous healing—even His meeting with Zacchaeus in Jericho—factored into the timetable of the Lord’s momentous journey allowing Him to arrive on the outskirts of Jerusalem at precisely the predestined set time.
Fully aware of how events would unfold, Jesus approached Jerusalem not with fear or anxiety, but with steadfast purpose and unwavering resolve.
As Christians, we can be thankful that our Lord did not deviate from His preordained journey. His arrival in Jerusalem at the set time was crucial to all that followed in fulfilling God’s redemptive purpose. Join me over the next eight days as we review key elements in our Lord’s steadfast journey that changed the course of history forever.
Charles E. McCracken is an international Bible teacher, long-time friend of Israel and advocate for the Jewish people. With 40 plus years of ministry experience, Rev. McCracken is known for authenticity in communicating biblical truth that makes his presentations relevant for those seeking to understand the significance of Israel and the church in Bible prophecy. He staunchly supports the nation of Israel and the Jewish people’s right to exist and live in peace.
© Charles E. McCracken 2016, devotional comments only. Repost/Reprint with permission from the author via Contact Form under ABOUT. Scripture taken from the New King James Version®. Copyright © 1982 by Thomas Nelson. Used by permission. All rights reserved. (Emphasis added.)
1) Il allait par les villages en route pour Jérusalem (He Went Through the Villages on the Way to Jerusalem) (circa 1886-1896). By James Tissot (1836 – 1902). [Public domain].
2) La Vie de Notre-Seigneur Jésus-Christ (With Passover Approaching, Jesus Goes Up to Jerusalem) (circa 1886 – 1894). By James Tissot (1836 – 1902). [Public domain].