The Good News
Mark 10, The Message
32-34 Back on the road, they set out for Jerusalem. Jesus had a head start on them, and they were following, puzzled and not just a little afraid. He took the Twelve and began again to go over what to expect next. “Listen to me carefully. We’re on our way up to Jerusalem. When we get there, the Son of Man will be betrayed to the religious leaders and scholars. They will sentence him to death. Then they will hand him over to the Romans, who will mock and spit on him, give him the third degree, and kill him. After three days he will rise alive.”
After talking about personal sacrifice for eternal gain as what it takes to enter the Kingdom of God, Jesus leads His followers to Jerusalem for the final episode of His mission on earth. He explains to His closest followers what will happen, step by step, in clear, understandable words. He outlines exactly His will given to Him by His Father…our Father in Heaven. But they still cannot seem to grasp it. They are afraid…and amazed at the same time.
These followers knew they were headed to danger, but followed still…because Jesus was in the lead. They were full of fear…but Jesus was in the lead. Sometimes we wonder if they were really hearing what He was saying to them on the walk to Jerusalem. It seems Jesus goes over God’s Plan of suffering to save souls through His Son many times. Are they dull? Let’s not be too harsh. Doesn’t God have to tell us over and over what His plan really is for us? We are human. We do not like to hear of imminent suffering. We want to avoid suffering…at all costs! Ah, there it is…the cost.
“They were now going up from Jericho to Jerusalem, going up with Christ to his cross and his death. He went before them, eagerly leading the way for his timid disciples, who were now beginning to realize what was about to happen, and that he would be condemned and crucified. Therefore the evangelist adds, they were amazed (Greek, ἐθαμβοῦντο); the same word which is used at ver. 24. The words in the original, according to the best reading, make a distinction between the utter amazement of the disciples and the fear of the others who followed (οἱ δὲ ἀκολουθοῦντες ἐφοβοῦντο). St. Mark draws a distinction between the disciples, who would be following him, though at a little distance, and the mixed company, who were also following him, though at a greater distance. The whole scene is before us. Our blessed Lord, with an awful majesty on his countenance, and eager resolution in his manner, is pressing forwards to his cross.” –Pulpit Commentary
“Listen to me carefully,” says Jesus to us today. “We are on our way to…” This is for US to fill in the blank. Whatever God is calling you to be and do today…go with Him with Him in the lead. Yes, suffering is most always part of the package, but His glory is seen at the end. Yes, and Amen.
Dear Heavenly Father, Many, including myself, love to cry out, I want to You, but want to avoid suffering as part of the cost of living a life for You on earth. “I want to know Christ,” Paul says in Your Word, but adds “and share in your suffering”. We sometimes forget that last part and want only to know You. We repent. We know that to know You and to follow You, suffering is part of the whole of living with Your and abiding with You through thick and thin…and to be content. Thank you, Lord for Your Word. Go with us…leading the way today. Help us to be a resolute as You were on that day on Your road to Jerusalem…the road to the Cross that saved us. In Jesus Name, Amen
Philippians 3, NIV
7 But whatever were gains to me I now consider loss for the sake of Christ. 8 What is more, I consider everything a loss because of the surpassing worth of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord, for whose sake I have lost all things. I consider them garbage, that I may gain Christ 9 and be found in him, not having a righteousness of my own that comes from the law, but that which is through faith in[a] Christ—the righteousness that comes from God on the basis of faith. 10 I want to know Christ—yes, to know the power of his resurrection and participation in his sufferings, becoming like him in his death, 11 and so, somehow, attaining to the resurrection from the dead.
12 Not that I have already obtained all this, or have already arrived at my goal, but I press on to take hold of that for which Christ Jesus took hold of me. 13 Brothers and sisters, I do not consider myself yet to have taken hold of it. But one thing I do: Forgetting what is behind and straining toward what is ahead, 14 I press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus.