A Cause worth Dying For!
Chaplain Deron McDaniel, M.Div
Princeton Baptist Medical Center
“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 (KJV)
As you read this devotion, we all are in the midst of Holy Week which begins with Palm Sunday and end with Resurrection Sunday. It was very emotional and turbulent week for Jesus. It begins with shouts of praise and a jubilant reception, but it ended with shouts of condemnation and rejection. Jesus had ‘set his face’ to go to Jerusalem. He had mentioned his impending sufferings a few time, yet far from making him change the course of his life, he knew it must be in Jerusalem that his life would be offered up. Messengers were sent ahead to prepare for his arrival in the surrounding villages. He would attempt to move through Samaria, but was met with a loveless response. A Samaritan village would not entertain Jesus because of his desire to travel to Jerusalem. James and John were two disciples whom the Lord had previously nicknamed ‘sons of thunder’ (Mark 3:17), perhaps because of their impulsiveness. The two brothers desired to see fire come down from heaven and consume the unbelievers, just as in the days of Elijah (2 Kings 1:9–15). In their zeal for the reputation of Christ, they had failed to learn the lesson of love.
At the core of the Christian faith has always been love, not hatred; by the weapon of the peace, not war. If only we would strive to learn this simple lesson taught to James and John: ‘the Son of Man did not come to destroy men’s lives but to save them’ (v. 56). Even so the Christian faith teaches that Jesus died for the sins of the world. His desire to do so was fueled by his love for all people. It was indeed a cause worth dying for.
As we reflect upon this lesson this week, let us resolve like Jesus to ‘set our face’ to the cause of love and peace. Let us be so determined that we are willing to give the full measure of our devotion; even our very lives. Let us endeavor to see each other through the eyes of love, let us love intensely as Jesus did. Finally, in the words of a song written by Hal David,
“What the world needs now is love, sweet love. It's the only thing that there's just too little of. What the world needs now is love, sweet love No, not just for some but for everyone.”
Prayer: Kind and Gracious God, thank you for your example of love and tolerance. Thank you for sacrifice that teaches us that there is a cause worth dying for. Help us to love deeply all of your people so we might we keep your cause and continue in it. In the name of Jesus. Amen.