KPRD’s Light on with Will Fadenrecht
Jesus Set His Face Toward Jerusalem
Luke 9:51, 13:22, 17:11
There is one star in the northern skies that never sets and it has been the brightest and most reliable guide for travelers, especially sailors, for 1000’s of years. It is the North Star located near the North Pole. It has helped mankind know their location and set their direction.
After Jesus was born as a human, being God-man, and He walked this earth, He had something that helped set the direction of His life. He knew why He was here and where He was going. He kept His eye on that goal or purpose in all He did. During the Easter season we focus on the reason why Jesus came to earth. He was born to die, to die for man’s sin. All through life Jesus journeyed to the cross.
The Gospel writer, Luke, mentioned three times that Jesus “set His face to go to Jerusalem”. Luke 9:51, 13:22, 17:11. In the KJV the word “steadfastly set” is used in the NIV the word “resolutely set” is used in Luke 9:51. This means Jesus had a fixed purpose to go to Jerusalem even if it meant danger or difficulty.
This is not referring to one trip to Jerusalem because Jesus actually made three trips. But is has reference to the purpose of His life—His death on the cross. Jesus had deliberately chosen the way of the cross and He always set His eyes on that goal. As He went He continued to teach, to heal and to minister to people.
In Jesus’ travels from Galilee to Jerusalem and back to Perea and down to Jerusalem, He covered a distance one way of about 85 miles over a variety of terrain, including mountains and wilderness. Not an easy trip. It was in Jerusalem where the temple was.
It was in Luke 9:22, Jesus had told His disciples He must suffer, be rejected, die and be raised the third day. This was about one year before it happened and it was after this, Luke says, Jesus set His face to Jerusalem. It was a bit later in Matt. 19:21, after Jesus asked His disciple “who do you say I am” and they confessed Him as Christ the Messiah, that Jesus explained to His disciple, “He must go to Jerusalem”.
Because of who Jesus was, He had to go to Jerusalem and die and that is why He recognized it was the purpose of His life. He had come to be a Savior by giving His life as a ransom for many. Jesus recognized this as the only plan of God to save people. He knew it was God’s will for Him.
Today we need to be grateful Jesus was willing to carry out God’s plan. Praise God Jesus set His face to go to Jerusalem. This was not an easy thing for Jesus. As a man, He was distressed over it (Luke 12:49). We see His agony in Gethsemane.
Jesus had a determined goal in life. We need to seek God’s will and find the purpose and goal in life He has for us. Then pursue it as Jesus did. On the way, in Luke 9:57, we see some who wanted to follow Jesus and go with Him. But in the three illustrations, we see none were willing to really count the cost. It cost a lot for Jesus to pursue His goal. It calls for all of us to do as Jesus did: be fully committed to it, be urgent and start now, and be completely devoted to the journey and its goal. Jesus gave it His all, so He could redeem us from the penalty of sin.
Let us be thankful this Easter, that Jesus did not allow anything to distract Him from His purpose in life. He steadfastly set His face to go to Jerusalem where he was crucified and died for our sins. And also praise God, He raised Jesus to life again for our salvation.