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As the time drew near for him to ascend to heaven, Jesus resolutely set out for Jerusalem. Luke 9:51 NLT
Monday 08 March
There’s a wonderful description of the Servant of the Lord in Isaiah 50.7 in which it says that he set his face like flint. That is to say he was absolutely fixed on heading in one definite direction in obedience to the Lord. That’s exactly what we see here in this verse in Luke’s gospel. Jesus knows exactly what’s going on. He knows that the Jewish leaders were determined to kill him and yet, even so, he heads to the city where his life would be under greatest threat. If anyone had done a risk assessment of the situation then Jesus would have been told to avoid the area and head back up north to Galilee.
Jesus’ complete commitment to his father’s will is awesome. He could have chosen to avoid the dangers but his desire is to be obedient and so he heads down south to Jerusalem. He has no fear and takes a route that no Jewish person would ever have been advised to take. He walked through Samaria whose people hated and despised the Jews. Sure enough the Samaritan people kicked up a fuss when they knew that he was heading to Jerusalem. This angered James and John who suggested to Jesus that he might like them to call down fire from heaven to destroy the people. But Jesus wasn’t impressed and rebukes them for their offer.
As they continued on the road to Jerusalem a man told Jesus that he would follow him wherever he went. Jesus’ response was to inform him that “Foxes have dens to live in, and birds have nests, but the Son of Man has no place even to lay his head.” Jesus then invited the man to follow him but he clearly wanted to ensure that the man had no illusions. Following Jesus would require a single-minded commitment. Nothing short of that would do. He was calling on all his followers to set their faces like flint, both then and now.
Have you set your face like flint in obedience to Christ?
Dear Father, thank you that you invite me to live a life of obedience to you. Give me strength today to head resolutely in the direction you want me to go. Amen.