And He went through the cities and villages, teaching and journeying toward Jerusalem. (Luke 13:22)
The Journey To Jerusalem
The ministry of Jesus was beginning to come to an end. There would be more people to heal, stories to tell, and preparation with His disciples, but Jesus knew the purpose He came to earth was drawing near. His heart began to turn towards the city of Jerusalem and how He would be delivered to the Romans and mocked, insulted, spit upon, scourged, and then killed. Jesus knew the fate awaiting Him. There was never a doubt about His purpose. At the beginning of His ministry, it seemed a far-off time when His death would come, but now, the shadow of the cross began to lay heavy upon His heart. Jerusalem was the place He would be arrested, unjustly tried, and nailed to a cross. He had seen men crucified and knew the horror of the worst manner of death imagined by the human heart. Jesus knew how He would die. He knew where He would die. His hour was coming soon, and He continued to journey to Jerusalem.
As Jesus went through the cities and villages, He taught the people the message of God’s love and grace. Elements of the sermon on the mount were no doubt recounted in the hearing of the expectant crowds. They listened intently to the power of authority Jesus exhibited in His teaching. Jesus entered the cities and villages, gathered people around Him, and taught the coming of the kingdom of God. His work was not diminished by the knowledge of what would happen in Jerusalem. He knew what the Father had planned for Him in Jerusalem. There was never a hesitant chord of fear in the life of Jesus as He taught the people and journeyed to Jerusalem. The steps of Jesus were sure and purposed for the ministry of sacrifice. He continued to teach the people.
The example of Jesus is remarkable for His composure, knowing what awaited Him in Jerusalem. Drawing strength from His Father, Jesus committed Himself to complete the will of the Father in every way. Souls needed to hear about the kingdom. The parables of the great supper, the lost sheep, lost coins and lost sons needed to be told. Lepers would be healed, and blind men given sight. Lazarus would be raised from the dead. Children are brought to Jesus to be blessed by the Son of God. A rich ruler will come seeking eternal life and go away empty-handed. Jesus went through the cities and villages teaching as He made His way to Jerusalem and a place called Golgotha.
Faith is found in the courage of the heart to face what is known and continue to serve the Father. Jesus never backed away from His tireless work of teaching. He was teaching to the point of death. On the cross, He taught the people and the man crucified beside Him about God’s forgiveness and love. The moment Jesus stopped telling the world about the Father was when He breathed His last. Persecution from the Jewish leaders did not stop Him. Discouragement did not hinder Him. The crowds screaming for His death did not weaken His resolve. Jesus turned His face to Jerusalem to save the world from darkness, and He died on a cross. We must never back away from teaching the gospel of Christ when the world turns away from God. The opportunity to show the light of Christ is brighter in darker days. As we march toward our inevitable death, may we teach in the cities and villages and keep our pace brisk toward the eternal shores.