Luke 9:43-62

43 But while they were all marveling at everything he was doing, Jesus said to his disciples, 44 “Let these words sink into your ears: The Son of Man is about to be delivered into the hands of men.” 45 But they did not understand this saying, and it was concealed from them, so that they might not perceive it. And they were afraid to ask him about this saying.

46 An argument arose among them as to which of them was the greatest. 47 But Jesus, knowing the reasoning of their hearts, took a child and put him by his side 48 and said to them, “Whoever receives this child in my name receives me, and whoever receives me receives him who sent me. For he who is least among you all is the one who is great.”

49 John answered, “Master, we saw someone casting out demons in your name, and we tried to stop him, because he does not follow with us.” 50 But Jesus said to him, “Do not stop him, for the one who is not against you is for you.”

51 When the days drew near for him to be taken up, he set his face to go to Jerusalem. 52 And he sent messengers ahead of him, who went and entered a village of the Samaritans, to make preparations for him. 53 But the people did not receive him, because his face was set toward Jerusalem. 54 And when his disciples James and John saw it, they said, “Lord, do you want us to tell fire to come down from heaven and consume them?” 55 But he turned and rebuked them. 56 And they went on to another village.

57 As they were going along the road, someone said to him, “I will follow you wherever you go.” 58 And Jesus said to him, “Foxes have holes, and birds of the air have nests, but the Son of Man has nowhere to lay his head.” 59 To another he said, “Follow me.” But he said, “Lord, let me first go and bury my father.” 60 And Jesus said to him, “Leave the dead to bury their own dead. But as for you, go and proclaim the kingdom of God.” 61 Yet another said, “I will follow you, Lord, but let me first say farewell to those at my home.” 62 Jesus said to him, “No one who puts his hand to the plow and looks back is fit for the kingdom of God.”

Why did Jesus have to suffer and die?

It's a question that plagued Jesus' disciples while He was alive. "Why Jesus? Why not just overthrow the government? Why not reveal your true glory on earth? You can absolutely do it."

Yes Jesus can do anything He pleases. He was the Word at the beginning. John 1:2-3 says "He was in the beginning with God. All things were made through him, and without him was not any thing made that was made."

As we grow in our understanding of the living God, as we see Him as He is, as the scales are softened and we begin to see ourselves and our sin in light of His glory, as we see the cross and the kindness and mercy therein, as we grow and mature in communion with Him, I believe we will grow in awareness that God paves the narrow path through the valley of the shadow of death.

John 3:30 says "He must increase, but I must decrease."

To live with Christ, we must die with Him. Our old selves must be buried (with Him). And there are a lot of deaths to die in this life. Read 1 Corinthians 13:1-13 and you will see that love (the supernatural sort) is all dying. To be patient feels like dying. To not be irritable nor resentful feels like suffering (especially when we feel justified in it). To bear all things assumes bearing a load too heavy to carry.

But it's not hopeless. It's not meaningless. It's not senseless. It is God's great prescription and promise to give us all we need (by the power of His Holy Spirit) to fulfill His greatest commandment. To love Him as our greatest and most supreme Treasure, He walks us through the death of our old nature.

Romans 8:16-18 says "16 The Spirit himself bears witness with our spirit that we are children of God, 17 and if children, then heirs—heirs of God and fellow heirs with Christ, provided we suffer with him in order that we may also be glorified with him. 18 For I consider that the sufferings of this present time are not worth comparing with the glory that is to be revealed to us."

The call to come and pick up our cross to follow Him is an invitation to the narrow path. Yes the path of death and suffering, but more importantly the path of life, love, fullness, and eternal glory with Christ Jesus our Lord.

Posted by Robert Han on 11/28/2016

Comments

It's a little humorous to me how the disciples just did NOT get what it meant to follow Jesus. They thought that following Jesus meant that they had the power of God behind them to strike down anyone that got in their way or offended them or was not one of THEM. Jesus makes it clear that He has a different approach and strategy to show the love and glory of God. It was a humble strategy. Jesus' eyes were on the big picture. I'm sure the cross would not have as much of an impact if people remembered Jesus as a bully or one that you did not argue with b/c He was quick to summon God's power to strike down at people. The reason why He was a lamb being led to slaughter was that He truly had no fault. All He did was love God, show the love of God, and showed it to God's people until the very end. This is the epitome of how undeserved Christ's death on the cross was.

Diana Lim on 12/1/2016 at 9:00 AM