The Divine Trail-Breaker
“. . . Jesus was walking on ahead of them; . . .” Mark 10:32
Ahead – that’s where Jesus has always been. Jesus is the pioneer of our faith.
Today, Jesus goes on ahead, ahead of our ways of safety, ahead of the mediocre believism we substitute for bold, daring faith. He leads on in the dark, unsubdued wilderness of greed and competition, and the ruthlessness of back-room power plays. The Divine trail-breaker, forging into a new, unexplored, unoccupied territory of life.
Jesus had a clear-eyed knowledge of the forces and power set against Him. He was not surprised or overwhelmed when the blows were struck. Jesus goes on ahead with impressively stark boldness, brisk bravery, and strident courage to face all that was to happen to Him in Jerusalem. Yet, Jesus going ahead on the road, gives every disciple of today and tomorrow an example to follow His lead into conflict, sacrifice and death.
To Jesus, going up to Jerusalem meant the ultimate demonstration of truth, love, and the laying down of His life. It’s the call from which many disciples shrink back and lag behind. Going to Jerusalem means going from a place of safety, to the place of danger, from little cost to tremendous cost.
Jerusalem is a spot avoided by many disciples. Many never cross that frontier; they are content to stay in their Galilee. They tour the safe pleasant places, never venturing into the treacherous terrain of risky participation and dangerous questions, where such a commitment would bring loss and pain. They go to great lengths to avoid that land of pain – that area where the people God loves and for whom Christ died, suffer.
We lag behind Jesus, restraint whispers into our ears “let’s stay some place this side of Jerusalem,” “let’s not get carried away,” “let’s not go to extremes.” But Jesus went to extremes.
The border between Galilee and Jerusalem is the most important place in every disciple’s life. It tests the depth of our confession, and the authenticity of our faith. When we cross it in our lives and choices, we go from comfort to pain, from ease into vulnerability, as Jesus did. But if we do not cross it, we leave the road which leads to fullness and life.
Have you crossed over into your Jerusalem? Strive to close the gap between Him and you. You need not be so far behind.