He set his face.
The four Gospels are our biographical pathway for studying the example of Jesus. These inspired writers provided intimate glimpses into his life and earthly ministry. If we are to follow his steps today we must rely on the guidance Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John have provided. In the mystery of his ways God has guided each of them to write very similar but strikingly unique characterizations of Jesus: the expected Messiah; the servant; fully God and fully man; and the great I AM. Over the years, certain texts from Luke's Gospel have given me pause and reflection. Dr. Luke had "...followed all things closely for some time past..." and had written an "...orderly account..." of Christ's life (see Luke 1: 3, ESV). One of the themes woven into the text of Luke's Gospel is the portrayal of Christ's determined and intentional pursuit of Jerusalem. Jesus' death on the cross in Jerusalem was not happenstance or the luck of the draw or the movement of the stars. Jesus went there intentionally with great purpose and mission.
Follow the textual truth of this very resolute journey. Make note of Luke's consistent mention of Christ's determined destination. Many events and opportunities to teach and heal occurred along the way. Each of them was incidental to his purpose of going to Jerusalem---
When the days drew near for him to be taken up, he set his face to go to Jerusalem.
Luke 9: 51, ESV
As they were going along the road---
Luke 9: 57, ESV
After this the Lord appointed seventy-two others and sent them ahead of him, two by
two, into every town and place where he himself was about to go.
Luke 10: 1, ESV
Now as they went o their way Jesus entered a village.
Luke 10: 38, ESV
He went on his way through towns and villages, teaching and journeying toward
Luke 13: 22, ESV
On the way to Jerusalem he was passing along between Samaria and Galilee.
Luke 17: 11, ESV
He entered Jericho and was passing through.
Luke 19: 1, ESV
As they heard these things, he proceeded to tell a parable, because he was near to
Luke 19: 11, ESV
And when he had said these things, he went on ahead, going up to Jerusalem.
Luke 19: 28, ESV
And when he drew near, and saw the city he wept over it...
Luke 19: 41, ESV
And, of course, there is one segment that I did not list among the others. It was the focal passage that clarified Jesus' determination to so "set his face" to Jerusalem. Earlier he had said---
But Jesus replied, “Go tell that fox, ‘Look, I will keep driving out demons and healing
people today and tomorrow, and on the third day I will reach My goal.’ Nevertheless, I
must keep going today and tomorrow and the next day, for it is not admissible for a
prophet to perish outside of Jerusalem.
Luke 13: 32-33, ESV
In my heart and mind Luke's account is an incredible demonstration of our Lord's determination to fulfill God's redemptive purpose on the cross at Mount Calvary. If we are to follow his example and walk in his steps as written by Simon Peter it must translate that our faith should be as intentional and determined as we humans can pursue it. It not fashionable to live that kind of dedication today. Which further means that our intent will be uncomfortably challenged by our secular culture.
Jesus said, "Not everyone who says to me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ will enter the kingdom of heaven, but the one who does the will of my Father who is in heaven" (Matthew 7:21, ESV). Time for us to stop all of the empty talk and live this life boldly and intentionally. You know, "set our face" to live this life with intent and purpose.
Copyright: <a href='https://www.123rf.com/profile_bialasiewicz'>bialasiewicz / 123RF Stock Photo</a>