He Steadfastly Set His Face to Go

“And it came to pass, when the time was come that he should be received up, he steadfastly set His face to go to Jerusalem” (Luke 9:51).  Although Jesus’ crucifixion was still some six months away, He had completed the major portion of His ministry in Galilee and now would continue His ministry in Judea and Perea.  But He “steadfastly set His face to go to Jerusalem”

  With full understanding of what awaited Him in Jerusalem, Jesus was going to walk directly into it.  Let us consider the mind of Christ in this.

Fixing His face to go to Jerusalem, Jesus displays His determination and commitment to fulfill His purpose.  “Then I said, ‘Behold, I have come – In the volume of the book it is written of Me – to do your will, O God’” (Hebrews 10:7).  Jesus is an example to us of the determination and commitment that is required to do the will of God.  One must determine – come to a fixed decision – in order to become a Christian.  And that decision involves commitment – “And he said to them all, If any man will come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross daily, and follow me” (Luke 9:23).  But continuing to be faithful requires continued determination and commitment.  When faced with an almost-overwhelming test or trial, we must remember the commitment to the Lord we made and intend to keep.  Perhaps there is a bad habit we want to overcome and it seems out of reach.  But it can be overcome, and determination and commitment are critical.

Fixing His face to go to Jerusalem, Jesus shows courage.  Jesus knew that suffering and death for Him were in Jerusalem, and He had begun to tell His disciples of it, saying, “The Son of Man must suffer many things, be rejected by the elders and chief priests and scribes, and be killed, and be raised the third day” (Luke 9:22; cf. 31, 43-45).  Courage and heroism often respond in moments of crisis, such as a passerby entering a burning house to save a stranger.  But Jesus demonstrates intentional, calculated courage to face the humiliation, the suffering and the agonizing death upon a cross.  Meditate upon the courage that we need to have within us to stand up for the truth, stand against enemies of the truth, and “obey God rather than men” (Acts 5:29).

Fixing His face to go to Jerusalem, Jesus demonstrates obedience.  “Though He was a Son, yet He learned obedience by the things which He suffered.  And having been perfected, He became the author of eternal salvation to all who obey Him” (Hebrews 5:9).  Going to Jerusalem to lay down His life was an act of obedience to His Father’s will.  When men downplay the necessity of obedience to God, they reject the example of Jesus, the one whom they claim to be their Savior.  If we would be like Jesus, we will obey even what we might consider to be the difficult things.

Finally, fixing His face to go to Jerusalem, Jesus demonstrates His love.  This love is not some emotional feeling but a deliberate choice to act sacrificially for the greatest good of another.  Jesus said about Himself, “For even the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give His life a ransom for many” (Mark 10:45).  When Jesus set His face toward Jerusalem, He was knowingly, voluntarily, and deliberately going there to be a sacrifice for our forgiveness.  “Greater love has no one than this, than to lay down one’s life for his friends” (John 15:13).

Jesus is our perfect example in mind, word, and deed.  Let us strive to be like Him – determined, committed, courageous, obedient, and motivated by love.

                       -Larry Jones