Resolute

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

Andrew trailed the others today. Though that was not unusual for him, today was different somehow. He did not understand what they were doing or why Jesus was so determined to go to Jerusalem now when the threat against him from the chief priests and the Pharisees was well known. They had recently withdrawn to the desert village of Ephraim because it wasn’t safe for Jesus to move around publicly. He thought they would stay there until the threat had passed, but now today Jesus set his sights on Jerusalem, and no one could talk him out of it. Andrew’s mind was a raging torrent of reflections and questions, a turbulence he had to make sense of, though he doubted any of it would ever make sense. And so, he followed the others lost in his own thoughts.

By nature, Andrew was a follower, a quiet, introspective observer comfortable in the background. His younger brother, Peter, was the boisterous, outgoing, impetuous one, a natural leader who swallowed space with his presence. It wasn’t that he was weak; he and Peter learned fishing from their father, taking over the boats and nets when their father died. His strong muscular body was a testament to his arduous work. But being out on the water never excited him like it did Peter and Abba. He preferred quiet spaces where he could watch, learn, and interact personally with one or two people at a time. As a boy, he loved attending Bet Sefer, the school in their local synagogue. The first day when the rabbi recited from Psalm 119:103, “May the words of God be sweet to your taste, sweeter than honey to your mouth,” Andrew hungered for more. Six days a week he soaked up the writings of Moses and the Prophets, begging to continue advanced studies. But he was the firstborn son of a fisherman, and his father was adamant that a fisherman is what he would be, so he quietly and firmly tamped down his desire.

Then he met John, called the Baptizer. He stole moments at every opportunity to listen to John, even though he did not understand at the time all he was saying. “I am the voice of one calling in the desert, ‘Make straight the way for the Lord.’ I baptize with water, but among you stands one you do not know. He is the one who comes after me, the thongs of whose sandals I am not worthy to untie.” Then came the day when he could no longer ignore his desire for more of God. He had been with John at the Jordan River when Jesus came toward them. John cried out, “Look, the Lamb of God, who takes away the sin of the world.” Unbidden, Andrew left John and followed Jesus. He would never forget what Jesus said to him that day, the question he asked that changed everything for Andrew, “What do you want?” He had no words for what he wanted; he only knew his heart burned within him. Saying the first thing that came to his mind, Andrew asked where Jesus was staying. With a smile that lit up his face, Jesus replied, “Come, and you will see.” He spent the rest of that day with Jesus, knowing that what he wanted was Jesus himself.

As darkness descended, he ran to find Peter. He did not notice Peter’s irritation at his absence that day. Shouting he proclaimed, “We have found the Messiah,” and immediately grabbed Peter to take him to Jesus. That was three years ago. Fishing forgotten, they both followed Jesus. Andrew soaked in every word he spoke, and he pondered them over and over in his quiet way. He brought others to Jesus as well. He could not help himself. He wanted everyone to know the Messiah was in their midst. When the crowds gathered and refused to leave even though they were hungry, the other disciples were explaining to Jesus why they needed to disperse. Andrew, however, saw a young boy with a few fish and loaf of bread. He had no doubt that this boy needed Jesus and that Jesus could use those fish and bread somehow. The miracle still brought tears to his eyes as he recalled everyone eating their fill with food left over from that small offering. So many miracles in the last three years. The roots of Andrew’s faith grew each time Jesus spoke or looked at him. The calmness and peace in his heart was unlike anything he had ever known.

Now, however, he was frightened. Jesus slept little, spending more time alone in prayer. He taught them in parables and spoke of signs of the end of the age, warning them to be on guard, to keep watch. Today he was insistent on being in Jerusalem for Passover, and he told them what awaited him there. “The Son of Man will be betrayed to the chief priests and teachers of the law. They will condemn him to death and will hand him over to the Gentiles who will mock him and spit on him, flog him and kill him. Three days later he will rise.” Andrew wanted to protect Jesus, to keep him hidden from those who were intent on taking his life. He begged Jesus, much as he had begged his father all those years ago, but the result was the same. His father refused his pleas, and Jesus would not change course. Tonight, they would rest in Bethany. Tomorrow they would enter Jerusalem.

Before his fear could consume him, Andrew quickly caught up with the others, matching his stride to that of his Lord. If Jesus was resolute about going to Jerusalem, Andrew would resolutely go with Him, and he would remain by Jesus’s side each step of the way. He did not have to understand to trust; he didn’t have to understand to believe. He knew. He knew Jesus the Messiah, the Son of God, and with Jesus, Andrew could resolutely face anything. Jesus looked at Andrew then, and in his tender smile Andrew heard again, “Come, and you will see.”

Reflection Questions:

  1. What does the passage from Luke 9:51 mean to you personally? Take time to journal this as a prayer to God.
  2. How will you answer Jesus’s question, “What do you want?”
  3. Where is Jesus asking you to trust Him today beyond what you can understand?
  4. Where is Jesus biding you to come and see? How will you respond?

Jesus, I want to be like Andrew, resolute in following You wherever You lead even when I do not understand. I want to remain by Your side and trust you with unwavering faith. I want to be one who encourages others to come and see, to introduce others to You and to walk side-by-side with them as we walk with You daily. Thank You for loving me beyond what I can comprehend and for resolutely going to Jerusalem knowing what waited for You there. Make me mindful of Your sacrifice as Easter approaches.

I love You, Lord! Amen.

Published by thistleplaid

Introductions are always awkward. What words can capture the essence of character and personality? And yet, we all long to know and be known, so let me introduce myself to you. I am an introverted "fun girl" who is passionate about Jesus, family and intimate friendships. I am a wife of 50 years, whose husband now resides in heaven (widow does not define me!). I am a mother of three daughters and three sons-in-love, a Gram to eight grandchildren, and a Great-Granny to one adorable baby girl. With Scottish ancestry, I love all things plaid, bagpipes and thistles. I love tea and books and rainy days; mountains, ocean waves, and sunshine' lavender, Golden Doodles, bagpipes and country music. Most importantly, I am the daughter of the King of Kings, on the journey of being conformed to His image and desperately in need of His mercies every day. My goal with this blog is to meet other women on this journey and encourage them to see and seek Encounters with Mercy and Glimpses of Glory that will challenge and nourish their souls.

One thought on “Resolute

  1. Your prayer was so similar to what I prayer as a result of your questions. May you and I receive the desires of our hearts. He wants to give might we receive as we set aside things that clutter our hearts from receiving Love ya.

    Like

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