The Long and Winding Road-Lent 1 (2012)

Luke 9:51 As the time approached for him to be taken up to heaven, Jesus resolutely set out for Jerusalem.

During the next 40 days of Lent, we will head out on a spiritual journey with Jesus.  In many respects, walking with Jesus is our simple path of daily discipleship.  At Lent, however, we pause to somberly reflect upon what that journey to the Cross meant for Jesus.  This complex fulfillment of prophecy from ages long past had eternal consequences impacting the life of every man, woman, and child.

Jesus’ travel narrative from the Gospel of Luke becomes our journey, too.  In the background, we might hear Jesus singing the pilgrim songs called the Songs of Ascents (Psalms 120-134) as He makes His way “Up to Jerusalem” to His final Passover festival.  Jesus resolutely set out and Jerusalem was the geographical end point. His travels, however, were not along a straight line predictable path (as the shortest distance between two points). His way was intentional and instructional though, with visits and stays and obstacles along the way.  Discipleship is like that.  Rarely a beeline or a straight shot.

Has your spiritual life been like a long and winding road? 

God’s ways seem circuitous? You’ve treaded old ground a few times? Yet, it’s never a meaningless meandering.  Walking with Jesus is a path of purposeful discipleship for us; and for Him, it was determined destiny—prophetic fulfillment. 

Just prior to turning His face resolutely toward Jerusalem, Jesus had appeared glorious at the Mount of Transfiguration (Luke 9:28-36).  Scripture records His discussing His departure—literally exodus in Greek—with 2 prophets spanning the earliest and later OT prophetic histories: Moses (prophet of the Law) and Elijah (a prophet whose reappearance would mark the last days).  Interestingly, they form the pattern of the two witnesses of the Book of Revelation (Rev. 11:3 -6).

Jesus meets with Moses and Elijah and the voice of God speaks, “This is my Son, whom I have chosen; listen to him.”   This calls to mind Moses’ declaration, “The LORD your God will raise up for you a prophet like me from among your own brothers. You must listen to him”  (Deuteronomy 18:15).

Jesus was no ordinary prophet, but God’s unique Son; and His exodus would secure a permanent Promised Land for the followers of Jesus.  Listen to Jesus, the Son of God, the Messiah—this is what the listeners are all admonished.  Jesus speaks: “Listen carefully to what I am about to tell you: The Son of Man is going to be betrayed into the hands of men” (Luke 9:44).

The Cross–this is the destination for Jesus.  Let’s take the long and winding road “Up to Jerusalem” as Jesus’ disciples.  Though the way rarely seems straightforward to us, God says,

This is my Son…listen to Him.

Questions for meditation:

  • In what ways is Jesus no ordinary prophet?
  • “Listen to Him” is a command statement.  What other voices compete for our listening ear?
  • Think about your spiritual journey: is it a straight line or a long and winding road?

Categories Articles and Devotionals, Devotionals | Tags: | Posted on February 22, 2012

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