Tuesday, April 4, 2017

Following Christ

Daily reading: Luke 18:31-19:10
Tuesday, April 4, 2017

Focus passage: Jesus took the Twelve aside and said, “Look, we’re going up to Jerusalem, and everything written about the Human One by the prophets will be accomplished.  He will be handed over to the Gentiles.  He will be ridiculed, mistreated, and spit on.  After torturing him, they will kill him.  On the third day, he will rise up.”  But the Twelve understood none of these words.  The meaning of this message was hidden from them and they didn’t grasp what he was saying.  Luke 18:31-34

Our passage begins with Jesus giving his third passion prediction to the disciples.  They are on the road to Jerusalem and he tells them that what lies ahead for him is ridicule, mistreatment, torture, death and ultimately resurrection.  In verse 34 we read “But the Twelve understood none of these words.  The meaning of the message was hidden from them and they didn’t grasp what he was saying.”
The meaning of the message was hidden from them.  They couldn’t see what Jesus was saying.  They couldn’t envision the path.  They couldn’t understand it.
Can we really blame them?
We all struggle with fully understanding what it meant for Jesus to enter into Jerusalem knowing what would happen to him while he was there. 
We all struggle with truly knowing what it will cost us to fully follow Christ.  What it will cost us to let go and leave behind.  What it will cost us to allow God to refine and change us.  
We also struggle with fully envisioning the gift of resurrection that Christ embodies and offers to us.  It is where we find ourselves being stuck, not wanting to move forward at all.  Glad to be in a place of sure footing.   But Jesus calls us forward.
Be it either in that moment that we decide we have to let go of something, or in the midst of that struggle and letting go, or on the other side bearing the fruits of resurrection, we struggle to see God’s hand and direction in our life. 
We struggle to let go.  We struggle to allow God into our lives so that God can refine us.  We struggle to see.
We are called to follow, and that means for the first disciples and for ourselves, that we must follow the same path that Christ took.

Prayer: God, allow me to be seen.  Help me to let go of what I need to let go of.  Help me to seek your forgiveness and move forward.  Help me to see my family, my friends, my community.  The people I would rather not see and love, the people I have judged unworthy, help me to see them and break my heart so you can put it back together.  Amen.

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