Vs. 23, “Jesus replied, “The hour has come for the Son of Man to be glorified.” It’s always difficult to come upon these passages of the last week before Jesus was crucified. Yet, in these accounts, we are reminded of beautiful faith. Mary’s anointing of Jesus is an incredible picture of understanding what it means to sacrifice (vs. 1-8). But the enemy was on the move and with Passover week just around the corner, the Jews were looking for Jesus coming to their trap in Jerusalem (vs. 10). After the Triumphant Entry (vs. 12-19), we see Jesus continue to minister to the lost. Yet, the lost sheep of Israel were hardening their hearts as prophesied by Isaiah (vs. 37-50). What’s striking to me is that some of the leaders believed, but would not put their faith into action due to fear of men (vs. 42-43). I wonder how often this transpires in our own lives.
Regarding application…Following Jesus. Vs. 26, “Whoever serves me must follow me; and where I am, my servant also will be. My Father will honor the one who serves me.” Question: What does this look like? Does it mean sell everything and live a transient lifestyle proclaiming Jesus with nothing but the clothes on your back? God has called each of us to a unique life and way that is specially made for us. The prophet Daniel at a young age was deported to Babylon, but following God meant he must acclimate to a new culture. In the last prophet before Jesus, John the Baptist, following Jesus was shown by living out in the desert. Following Jesus is going to look different for each person. I believe that prayer, bible and the church are wonderful tools and road signs to guide us down the path less traveled. Let the peace of God work in your heart to determine the path in which you follow Jesus. Have a blessed start of your week as you take the step of faith and dine at the table of our King each day!
Vs. 1, “When he came down from the mountainside, large crowds followed him.” There is a time for everything, and now Jesus would backup his words with action! Here we are given snippets of Jesus’ ministry. Don’t forget, it was John would tell us that there would not be enough books to record everything Jesus did (John 21:25). But, here we can take comfort because Jesus in the midst of the large crowds, still payed attention to the individuals. It’s notable the first thing Matthew recorded was Jesus healing a leper. Leprosy was a sign for sin, and Jesus came to forgive sins. The faith of the Roman Centurion is also notable, because Jesus came not just for the Jew but also for the Gentile (us). The healing of Peter’s mother-in-law shows you nothing is to small to bring to the Lord, even a everyday fever. We see the first incident of Jesus calming the storm on the Sea of Galilee. For this storm to scare even the fisherman, it must have been pretty big! But Jesus would show that He can even control the elements and it amazed the apostles. We also come across demon possession…not a nice topic to think about. But of course, the reality is, we live in a spiritual unseen world. Notice how the demon’s even knew who Jesus was.
Regarding application…Cost of Following Jesus. Vs. 19, “Then a teacher of the law came to him and said, “Teacher, I will follow you wherever you go.” Really now??? What a stark lesson for us today. We want our cake and eat it too. While the grace of God paid for our debts…to be a disciple of Jesus means that we voluntarily live a life that does not conform to this world. And brothers and sisters….easier said than done. I want Jesus and I want my boyfriend/girlfriend. I want Jesus and I want to listen to secular music. I want Jesus and I want to cuss all the time. I want Jesus and I want to drink and party. Initially people respond pretty well to things Jesus offers…but, then the realization of the cost makes them reconsider. Jesus was never about popularity. He made it very clear that if you truly want to follow Him, you must deny yourself. Question: Have you counted the cost recently? Are you willing to let go of things in your life? It’s hard isn’t it? I’m praying today that you would let go of your fears and trust in the Lord!