Athlete, Here Are Six Critical Words
Mark 10:33,34 (ESV)
See, we are going up to Jerusalem, and the Son of Man will be delivered over to the chief priests and the scribes, and they will condemn Him to death and deliver Him over to the Gentiles. And they will mock Him and spit on Him, and flog Him and kill Him. And after three days He will rise.
When you face fear of harm, danger, loss, or failure, what do you do? What do you say to yourself and others? How do you handle such a looming reality?
In today’s Scripture, Jesus spoke six words to His 12 core disciples (“We are going up to Jerusalem.”). He did so knowing full well what this would bring for Him personally — six more words — betrayal, injustice, condemnation, abandonment, beatings, death!
His crucifixion awaited. But He said it anyway and strode on. He faced fear head on. He headed right toward the pain. He didn’t avoid it. He didn’t run and hide.
Why did Jesus speak those words? Why did He head straight toward trouble, toward His end?
* Because it wasn’t really His end. He was made for more. He knew it. He saw by more than sight (2 Corinthians 4:18).
* Because He was a man-on-a-mission. Great, loving mission casts out fear. The mission became more important than His comfort. And God’s glory became more important than His relief (John 4:34).
* Because He knew this would become a game-changing moment. Indeed, life often pivots on the bold moves we make for Him.
* Because true love trumps everything. It demands selfless sacrifice .. .and gets it.
* Because He trusted God for greater reward. He believed that faithfulness practiced, endurance expressed, and self-gratification deferred are all worth it.
* Because He believed His obedience (to God) was more important than His feelings. Feelings must follow faith expressed in obedience.
* Because it was time to worship, whatever the cost. This is what we were made for.
And why did He invite others to join Him in this journey? (“WE must go to Jerusalem …”)
* Because He wanted others to see how a winner (a godly man or woman) handles pressure. Winners speak life both to themselves and others.
* Because He wanted others to see glory beyond shame, both His and ours. A good, long look at Calvary, the Cross, will do this.
* Because He wanted others to ultimately see that life is not about “live to die” but “die to live.”
So what’s here for you and me? Jesus wants us to see His tough-minded, winning ways, and He calls us to respect, honor and imitate Him.
Reflect: How are you handling life’s pressures? Are you living with a sense of noble mission? And how are you doing with elevating your worship, deferring gratification, and making your feelings follow your faith and obedience?
A prayer to consider: Father, thank You for what I see in Jesus. Was He ever tough-minded and tenderhearted in His love and obedience for You! Grow me like this, please. I want a strong, beautiful sense of unwavering mission too.
Spirit of Christ, coach me to wins. Grant victories of deferred gratification, fearlessness of failure, faith over feelings and obedience over comfort. Keep speaking words of life to me (six or more at a time!). O how I need them! In Jesus name, Amen.