Wednesday, April 1, 2015

Set your eyes and follow....

Posted by Lisa Laree to Beer Lahai Roi

(all scripture today from NIV 84)

Of all the narratives of what happened Holy Week, Mark gives us the closest thing to a daily breakdown.  He describes morning and evening for the day Jesus rode into Jerusalem, the next day (where he records the cleansing of the temple), and the next day, which ends with the Olivet Discourse.  Matthew records all of the teachings and discussion that happened during that time as if it all happened the day after the Triumpant Entry;   Luke records that Jesus taught in the temple every day (19:47), but doesn't even attempt to organize the narrative into a timeline, preferring to say things like, One day as he was teaching....  John spends the least amount of time discussing the teaching in the temple that week...possibly because he had written his gospel years after the first three were circulating and felt that had been covered well enough...but he does end his very brief discussion by saying, When he had finished speaking, Jesus left and  hid himself from them.

It is difficult to tell how long Jesus hid Himself...or if He hid Himself just from the crowd and his antagonists or if He went  away into complete hiding from even His disciples.  The last time reference is 'two days before Passover'; the next time reference we see is Matt. 26:17, On the first day of the Feast of Unleavened Bread..., and we see the same reference in Mark 14:12.  Two days are not specifically accounted for.   My feeling is that He taught at least one more day after the Olivet Discourse, so that Luke's statement that He taught every day in the Temple has significance...'two days' hardly would make up 'every day', but He may very well have taught at least a bit on the last day before Passover.  The incident John records, with the Greek Jews who want to see Jesus, seems to imply that His time is imminent:

Now my heart is troubled, and what shall I say?  Father, save me from this hour?  No, it was for this very reason I came to this hour.  Father, glorify your name!

Then a voice came from heaven, 'I have glorified it, and will glorify it again.'  John 12:27-28.

I think the war between Jesus' divine nature and His humanity was already raging by the last day He appeared publicly...whether it was 2 days before Passover or the day before Passover.   John is not narrating on a strict timeline; he makes a bit of commentary, then the last part of chapter 12 seems to be something Jesus would've said just before He hid Himself.  I think it was His departing speech, spoken out of the grief He was carrying.  I can see Him heading towards the exit, then turning one last time to the people, and speaking with great emotion.

Then Jesus cried out, "When a man believes in me, he does not believe in me only but in the one who sent me.  When he looks at me, he sees the one who sent me.  I have come into the world as a light, so that no one who believes in me should stay in darkness.
"As for the person who hears my words but does not keep them, I do not judge him.  For I did not come to judge the world, but to save it.  There is a judge for the one who rejects me and does not accept my words; that very word which I spoke will condemn him at the last day.  For I did not speak of my own accord, but the Father who sent me commanded me what to say and how to say it.  I know that his command leads to eternal life.  So whatever I say is just what the Father has told me to say."  - John 12:44 -50

One last plea for the people to recognize Him...and then He left. He was done talking to the public.

As it happens to be April 1, and the next SSMT verse is due, I decided to chose  a verse from today's reading, and I landed upon John 12:26:

Whoever serves me must follow me; and where I am, my servant also will be.  My Father will honor the one who serves me.

Following Him has particular significance in this passage in which He is very determinedly heading to the cross.  I can see an immediate application...the ones who served Him would follow Him, to the Garden, to the cross, to the tomb...because where He was, that's where His servant would be. Not many passed that immediate test. 

How willing am I to follow Jesus wherever He goes?  Whether He's leading me...or going because He must.  How do I truly follow Him?  How do I love praise from people more than praise from God?  What is God calling me to do about it?

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