The Road to Jerusalem

This past week Gael and I were reading at the breakfast table. It has been our custom to read from a small devotional book, and then a chapter from the Scriptures.

I have referred to this little devotional book before. It was given to me by Dr Harlow many years ago when Everyday Publications was located on Glebemount Avenue in Toronto. Each day of the year is a ‘reading’ of various passages from the Scriptures, and one of them is also given as the title of the day’s reading.

The thought this particular day was that of being “led”. However, one of the passages given was taken from Mark 10:32. My first thought was: “That’s not a passage about leading!” However, it was something that lingered in my mind for several days. It is one of those passages that always bring me to a halt, and make me ponder again the devotion of our Saviour to the Father’s will.

Now they were on the road, going up to Jerusalem, and Jesus was going before them; and they were amazed. And as they followed they were afraid. Then He took the twelve aside again and began to tell them the things that would happen to Him: “Behold, we are going up to Jerusalem, and the Son of Man will be betrayed to the chief priests and to the scribes; and they will condemn Him to death and deliver Him to the Gentiles; and they will mock Him, and scourge Him, and spit on Him, and kill Him. And the third day He will rise again.” Mark 10:32–38

It’s not clear from the passage how many were on the road to Jerusalem. It seems to me that there may have been a significant number, because Mark records that “He took the twelve aside…” I have this picture in my mind of a group of men (and possibly women) walking along the road. We usually think of the group being around, or close to, the Lord as He walked, but in this case, it is clear that He was walking on ahead, alone.

What did they see (or hear) that would have caused them to be amazed, and to be afraid? Was there something in His posture, or gait, that struck them? Or was He quoting from the Scriptures some of the prophetic passages touching on His suffering? We are not told.

Two thoughts come to me as I think on this passage:

First: The Saviour, fully knowing all that lay ahead, was committed to fully doing the Father’s will.
Second: As we read, and think on these things, what is our response? Is it only a sense of amazement and fear? Or are we overcome with worship as we ponder the enormity of what He endured for us?