DAY 6 (Friday of 2nd week of lent). There is no devotion for Saturday. Sunday's devotion will appear soon.
PREPARE TO LISTEN. Be still for as long as you need, then pray: Dominion belongs to the Lord, and he rules over the nations. (Psalm 22:28)
READ: Mark 10:32-34 ‘Still on the road’
32They were on the road, going up to Jerusalem, and Jesus was walking ahead of them; they were amazed, and those who followed were afraid. He took the twelve aside again and began to tell them what was to happen to him, 33saying, ‘See, we are going up to Jerusalem, and the Son of Man will be handed over to the chief priests and the scribes, and they will condemn him to death; then they will hand him over to the Gentiles; 34they will mock him, and spit upon him, and flog him, and kill him; and after three days he will rise again.’
Jesus has left Galilee and is now in “the region of Judea” (Mk 10:1), but still “on the road, going up to Jerusalem.” This is the first clear indication in Mark of Jesus’ destination, Jerusalem. He continues to travel with a group that included his disciples and probably also a curious crowd. Use your imagination and see yourself among them, still on the road, following Jesus. Notice that Jesus walks ahead rather than among them.
The journey isn’t a joyous one. We know this because Mark uses two strong words to describe the feelings of those following Jesus—amazed and afraid. However, there is no explanation for this. It’s as though Mark is preparing his readers for the conclusion to the story, where both fear and amazement will again dominate. The women who went to Jesus’ tomb, heard the message from the ‘young man’ in the tomb and fled “for terror and amazement and seized them” (16:8). In referring to these emotions, is Mark perhaps hinting that they will not be uncommon in followers of Jesus? Something to think about.
Once again Jesus directs his message only to his disciples, pulling them aside to teach, for the third time about his mission. In these verses Jesus is the most explicit about what will happen to him, giving detail not before mentioned. Jesus mentions five different things to expect (the betrayal, the double trial, the torture, the execution, and the resurrection). Mark will use these five acts in the form of an outline for his account of Jesus’ passion, unpacking each one in detail in the next few chapters. He’s prepared his readers for what is to come.
Changing their minds about the mission of Messiah was hard for the disciples, despite Jesus’ persistent teaching. It’s hard for us today as well. We have our views of Jesus, what he would and wouldn’t do, and we’re reluctant to change them. How has your view of Jesus changed thus far? What do you need to give up in order to come to a more authentic view of Jesus and his Way?
RESPOND TO JESUS IN PRAYER
Lord Jesus, like your first disciples, I too need repeated teaching and prodding so that I change my mind about you and what it means to truly follow you today. I come again for grace and mercy and insight to see more clearly how to walk your Way. Amen.
GO AND LIVE IN OBEDIENCE TO CHRIST and his way of suffering and the cross.