Characteristics of Christ | DETERMINATION
A 40 Day Journey to Becoming Like the One We Follow
Day 20: Determination (Luke 9:51)
How many times have you been determined to do something only to have your plans completely derailed? Maybe you’re determined to get all the laundry done, or to finish that book on your nightstand, or to complete that project around the house, or to start a new diet. It probably happens more times than we’d like to admit.
We’re good at setting goals, but lousy at following through. Eventually life just ends up happening to us without much input for our end.
Not so with Jesus. In case there was any doubt what Jesus’ mission was, Luke sets the record straight. Jesus “set his face toward Jerusalem.” There was no turning back. He knew why he came, what he was put on this earth to do, and he wasn’t going to let anything stop him. He was determined to make it to Jerusalem in order to surrender his life for all of us.
Kinda puts that pile of laundry in perspective, doesn’t it?
But that’s not the only thing he was determined to do. He had a lot to accomplish within about three short years. He had disciples to train, crowds to teach, sick to heal, lame to raise up, blind and deaf to restore, a Temple to cleanse, religious leaders to confront, and unconditional love to introduce to the world.
The Devils temptations couldn’t derail him. And when Peter tried to “rebuke” Jesus, saying he would never be killed by the authorities, Jesus called that out for what it was – a temptation from Satan. Jesus wasn’t going to let anyone or anything stand in the way of accomplishing God’s mission, whether it was his best friend or his worst enemy.
He also wasn’t going to let himself stand in the way, either. The night before he went to the cross, he cried out to God to figure out some other way if possible. “But,” Jesus prayed, “not my will, but yours be done.”
He could have called the whole thing off. “He could have called ten thousand angels” as the song goes. He could have come down off that cross and saved himself. But he was driven by the need to fulfill God’s will. He was determined to rescue the world through his own sacrifice.