He Walks Along the Road to Jerusalem
He walks along the road to Jerusalem, each step stirring up a cloud of dust that swirls toward His ankles before settling back down to the well-traveled, dirt road. He knows exactly where this road leads. To Jerusalem. To a hill called Golgotha. To a cross of agony and humiliation, suffering and torture. And yet, He leads the way. His followers walk just steps behind Him. It is symbolic that He goes a little ahead on this road to suffering. He knows they will not be far behind. They will eventually suffer on His behalf and that breaks His heart.
He walks along the road to Jerusalem, hearing their chatter, their laughter, and their jokes amongst one another. James tousles John’s hair in what can either be taken as sibling affection or big brother roughhousing. The disciples think the road is leading to the upcoming celebration – the Passover, but He knows when the Passover arrives, they will not be celebrating but mourning.
He walks along the road to Jerusalem, knowing that despite His attempts to prepare them for what is to come, they simply aren’t getting it. Just before they began their journey to Jerusalem, He held the little children, whom the disciples had tried to chase off, in His welcoming arms. He held them close enough to sniff their hair, to cherish all their pudgy curves, and to wonder at their little up-turned noses. “This! This is what you must be like,” He had urged the disciples. “Have a child-like faith that has not been corrupted by desires for status, power, or riches!”
He walks along the road to Jerusalem, knowing that they know that He is the Messiah, the one who will restore their people and deliver them from oppression. However, they still think the road leads to an earthly throne of glory, and not a cross of torture. He stops them there in the road, tells them again of what really is to come. Not power but persecution. Not honor but humiliation. Not commendation but condemnation.
He walks along the road to Jerusalem, knowing that they will soon squabble over prestige in their own circle. Then He will not mince words and clearly tell them that greatness does not come from authority or prestige but from the posture of a servant – of a slave. Of a slave to all. He will tell them that is why He came - to serve and to save.
He walks along the road to Jerusalem, resolutely accepting that the road to the cross is also the road to glory. He will pass through the pain and torture of the cross. He will pass through a tomb that reeks of death and decay, and He will pass through this world to rise again to be with His Father in Heaven. In glory.
And because He walks along this road, He knows others can follow Him all the way to His Father.
Will you walk along the road to Jerusalem, knowing that it is a road of service to others, without looking for power, or prestige, or praise for yourself?
Will you walk along the road to Jerusalem, remembering that He came to serve and to save? That as you serve others you can point them in the direction of the road that He will use to save them? Your service will say to others, “It’s here! This is the road you need to follow!”
Will you walk along the road to Jerusalem, following behind your Servant-Savior, wherever He leads? Even when He will take you to places of pain and suffering, but also knowing that this road’s destination leads you all the way to be with Him in His glory in Heaven?
Will you walk along the road to Jerusalem?
Read Mark 10:1-52.
As you read pay attention to two things: 1) the requirements of following Jesus and 2) the promises given to those who follow Him. In your prayer time this week, pray over your list of promises. Ask God to give you a heart that is motivated and eager to follow Him wherever He leads you.