It is so telling to see the contrast between the attitude of Jesus and that of His disciples when it comes to the scope or outlook of their focus. The Disciples are interested in Jesus doing what He can (what they want) to “save” their world. Jesus is ready to sacrifice it all to save the whole world.
On their way to Jerusalem they argue about who will be the greatest in the Kingdom. Certainly they have knowledge of the great Kingdom of God, but they are really only interested in it because of what possibly is in it for ME! Peter and John went so far as they have their mother lobby Jesus to get the seats of honor on the right- and left-hand of Jesus. Jesus replies that the Son of Man came to serve and to give His life as a ransom for many!
As they came to the Last Supper, their “world” is reduces to a roomful of guys with dirty feet. No One in this world wants to be the servant and wash everyone’s feet. But Jesus who has on Him the weight of the whole world and its sin, puts the towel around His waist and becomes the Servant of All.
After the Resurrection, the disciples are still struggling with their MY-optic view of What Jesus has just accomplished by His resurrection. They are trying to process what it means for them. Peter tries to go back to fishing. Thomas won’t believe until Jesus offers for him to put his fingers into His hands and his hand into His side. The disciples heading to Emmaus have the Old Testament prophecies opened to them , but yet their eyes are not open until Jesus is breaking the Bread. Jesus does not wait for their full comprehension for Him to make it clear that they are to take the message of His Death and Resurrection to the whole world and every one of creation. They don’t even have the message totally clear but the message that it is for the whole world is very clear!
Even as they head to the Mount of Olives, they ask Jesus if He is now going to establish the Kingdom. “Jesus, will we now get what we think has been coming to us for awhile??” Jesus tells them “NO”; rather He is sending them to “change” the world by being witnesses to Him to the whole world. Once again they want Jesus to “save” their world and instead He sends them with the Message to save the whole world.
Do we ever make this same mistake?? Thinking that Jesus came to “save” my world? Did He not come to make me a better life and make me happy??
NO, He came to save The World and expects me to lose my own life in the pursuit of taking that message to ALL.
– Jesus never procrastinated the Cross –
When I was a kid, there were things I could not WAIT to do: go to amusement park, go to a Christmas party where I was guaranteed a gift, go for a swim on a H-H-H day, go to Dairy Queen to get whatever I wanted. There were things and places I NEVER wanted to go. I especially hated going to this particular doctor when we lived in Arkansas: his philosophy was that a shot always got the cure going faster than waiting around for any by-mouth medication to start working. Dr. Callaway, I really thought he would have made a better horse doctor. Many a sore throat or ache “miraculously” vanished once the name of “Callaway” was said.
How painful it must have been for Jesus to think on the Cross! He was the Creator of these bodies and could give you every minute detail of why crucifixion was so torturous. He was the Messiah and yet would now be killed as a criminal. He was Holy God about to become Our Sin. He marched to the Cross because it was the pathway to my salvation—only He could walk it.
Luke 9:51, “He was DETERMINED to go to Jerusalem.”
Mark 10:32, “He took the twelve aside and began to tell them what was going to happen to Him.”
Matthew 26:18, “… my time is near; I am to eat the Passover at your house with my disciples.”
John 12:23-24 “… the hour has come for the Son of Man to be glorified… a Seed that is put into the ground and DIES.”
John13:1,”Jesus knowing that his hour had come to depart out of this world… took a towel”
Luke 22:42, “Not my will but yours be done.”
Matthew 26:45 “Behold the hour is at hand and the Son of man is being betrayed into the hands of sinners.”
Mark 14:42,”Get up; let us be going; the one who betrays me is at hand.”
Jesus was the Eternal God. What would have happened if the Eternal God had put off, procrastinated, held back for an instant?! History itself could have ended and Man (me) would have been forever lost!
“Looking unto Jesus, the author and finisher of our faith, who for the joy before Him, endured the Cross, DESPISING its shame, and is set down at the right hand of the throne of God.”
Thank you, Jesus, for not “putting off” my Sin.
Pastor Stephen Willoughby
Pastor Steve grew up in Columbia,South America, where his parents served as missionaries for 25 years. After graduating from Capital Bible Seminary, he was invited to serve as Assistant Pastor at FBCP. He has served in that capacity for twenty years before taking on the position of Senior Pastor.