Tuesday 15 June 2021

Bible Book:

When the days drew near for him to be taken up, he set his face towards Jerusalem. (v. 51)

Luke 9: 51-62 Tuesday 15 June 2021

Psalm 144


Jesus’ journey to Jerusalem provides the framework for most of Luke’s Gospel and here in v. 51 we have words that capture Jesus’ determination and focus: “He set his face towards Jerusalem.” Travelling in obedience to God’s will is a recurring theme in the Old Testament, seen especially in the journeyings of Abraham and his family. Indeed, travelling as called by God is held up as the vocation for all Christians. When Jesus speaks of sending messengers ahead it would have reminded his hearers of Old Testament examples when messengers or angels had been sent ahead – in Exodus (23.20) and in Malachi (3.1).

Once again, the disciples, James and John, showed how little they understood Jesus’ mission in wanting to call down punishment on a village which did not receive their message. This new kingdom was not to be a triumphal march making its way by force but a movement based on the power of love and grace.

In the final section of this reading, we see how, although people want to follow Jesus, they want to do it on their own terms and in their own time. For Jews burying one’s father was a holy and sacred duty, but Jesus makes it clear that this is secondary to the call to follow him. Here again Jesus challenges the very roots of Judaism.

Jesus is clear – once you have set on the journey to follow him you need to look to the future direction and not keeping looking behind at what has gone before.

To Ponder:

  • In your experience, do our churches present our calling as Christians as a journey led by God, or a rather more static commitment?
  • Wesley spoke of "fulfilling our calling to the present age". How do we balance this with valuing our traditions?


Loving God, we ask you to guide us as we seek to reach out with your message to others. Help us not only to discern you at work in new places, but also to discern when pieces of mission have reached their natural end. Amen.

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