Your team is on a road trip, the biggest one to date, when suddenly your captain, the one who called you to the team, who inspired you with her vision, stands up and says, “Team. When we get there, I will be arrested, sentenced to death, and given a lethal injection.” What a shock.
That is basically what happens in our text. Jesus and the disciples are off to Jerusalem. I’m sure the disciples were expecting big things. But not arrest. Not death.
On Sunday we heard Jesus’ command to deny ourselves, take up our cross and follow. But follow a leader who is leading us to death? We certainly will follow if blessings are in the cards, blessings like health, peace, smooth sailing. But when Jesus says we are marching straight to death, do we follow?
Interestingly enough, the disciples sloughed this statement off. Immediately, James and John ask Jesus to appoint them his number one and two men. Obviously, they thought Jesus’ words were just hyperbole. That was a mistake.
You see, being a disciple of Jesus Christ means we die to ourselves and rise to live for others. Therein lies blessing. Therein lies life.
Lord Jesus Christ, may I die to self and rise to live in you. Amen. — DAB