Luke 18: 31 – 34
Jesus took the Twelve aside and told them, “We are going up to Jerusalem, and everything that is written by the prophets about the Son of Man will be fulfilled. He will be delivered over to the Gentiles. They will mock him, insult him and spit on him; they will flog him and kill him. On the third day he will rise again.” The disciples did not understand any of this. Its meaning was hidden from them, and they did not know what he was talking about.
Jesus, how did you ever keep on going to Jerusalem knowing what was waiting for you? I know that our Abba gives us the grace for whatever it is we have to face, but still… all this time you knew what to expect, how horrific it was going to be and you kept on going. You who were so filled with grace and light, feeling the power moving through you again and again, seeing so clearly with that prophetic eye what was going on, what was going to happen to you, to your disciples, to Jerusalem, and yet here you were on your way to be tortured and killed. It is no wonder the disciples could not take it in when repeatedly you told them what was coming. They only knew the glorious Jesus and undoubtedly had visions of your glorious entry into Jerusalem.
I do not get the sacrificial offering; I do not get the bloody awfulness of it but I do get going where you are called to go and being given the grace for what you must endure. Give us grace dear Abba to endure whatever is on our path of following your beloved son. Amen.
Noon Day Prayers Question
How have you suffered as a follower of Jesus? Have you experienced the refining fire burning away your imperfections? Have you given up a lot to follow him and endured the doubts that follow, the scorn or simple non-comprehension from others? Have you been willing to stand up publicly for Jesus in society? What does it mean to you when Jesus says to be my disciple you must pick up your cross daily and follow me?
Luke 18: 35 – 43
As Jesus approached Jericho, a blind man was sitting by the roadside begging. When he heard the crowd going by, he asked what was happening. They told him, “Jesus of Nazareth is passing by.” He called out, “Jesus, Son of David, have mercy on me!” Those who led the way rebuked him and told him to be quiet, but he shouted all the more, “Son of David, have mercy on me!” Jesus stopped and ordered the man to be brought to him. When he came near, Jesus asked him, “What do you want me to do for you?” “Lord, I want to see,” he replied. Jesus said to him, “Receive your sight; your faith has healed you.” Immediately he received his sight and followed Jesus, praising God. When all the people saw it, they also praised God.
There are so many reasons not to ask God for what we need including in this man’s case people telling him to lay off and shut up. He was a man of faith (calling Jesus “son of David”) whose faith told him that he was being punished for his own or his parents’ sins. This sinner’s importunate shouting was not going over well. Beggars often need to shut up or they risk being punished. They have almost no rights at all. But this man kept on loudly calling out despite the wall of disapproval.
This is the key to receiving grace in the kingdom – asking. Every time Jesus healed someone it was because they asked for healing or because someone asked on their behalf. Jesus answered questions when they were asked. When we ask there is an opening in us to receive and then grace can flow. But we need to ask, we need to ask again and again. For there is often much in the way inside us between the asking and the receiving. For example someone who does not take care of themselves but only has eyes for other people’s needs is not going to easily ask for or receive healing. People who are distracted by many things in their lives are not going to achieve the focus necessary to truly go after God and receive an answer.
Father, give us grace to more and more see ourselves through your eyes, that we might discern your will for us and ask for what we need. We all need freedom from so many things. Liberation could change so many things. Give us the grace to yearn for freedom and to ask. Amen.