Mark 10:32-34: Looking unto Jesus.

“32 They were on their way up to Jerusalem, with Jesus leading the way, and the disciples were astonished, while those who followed were afraid. Again he took the Twelve aside and told them what was going to happen to him. 33 ‘We are going up to Jerusalem,’ he said, ‘and the Son of Man will be delivered over to the chief priests and the teachers of the law. They will condemn him to death and will hand him over to the Gentiles, 34 who will mock him and spit on him, flog him and kill him. Three days later he will rise.’ ” NIV UK

The proper place for Jesus in the life of a disciple is to be ‘’ahead’’ of him or her. The proper place for a disciple in the life of Jesus is to be in line behind Him. ‘Follow the Leader.’ Don’t get ahead of Him. (Arguably, this is what James and John are doing in the next story).Don’t let Jesus out of your sight. Fix your eyes on Him.

Here we see that Jesus was ‘’ahead’’ of them in knowledge. (Although maybe those who were ‘’afraid’’ had a premonition of what was to come, as Jesus made this last visit to Jerusalem). This is now the third time that Jesus predicted His death and resurrection (see 8:31;9:31), and on this occasion He added the detail that He would be delivered ‘’over to the Gentiles.’’ In this case, it referred to the Romans, who had the power of execution. Jesus’ detailed knowledge of these things, prior to their happening, is deeply impressive. They were clearly of great importance in His thinking.

Jesus goes ahead of us in the life of suffering, and then glory. We may well have to share His ‘’baptism’’ (38; see Philippians 3:10), but His baptism comes first. He has gone before us. Jesus is the ‘’pioneer and perfecter’’ of our faith (Hebrews 12:2). Apparently Teresa of Avila was once complaining to the Lord about her sufferings. She felt she heard Him say, ‘This is how I treat my friends.’ Her response was something along the lines of, ‘Well it’s no surprise if you have only a few friends!’ But God never asks us to give what He Himself has not given; to go where He has not first gone. In fact, He doesn’t ask us to suffer to the same degree. So I understand John Stott saying he would find it hard to believe in God apart from the cross.

Let us not fear to follow Jesus all the way to ‘Jerusalem’ – and beyond.

PRAYER: Lord Jesus, I recognise that your rightful place is in front of me, and mine is behind you. Help me, please, to stay in line