A brief passage, but mentioned in 3 gospels. As Christ’s footsteps turn towards the cross, it marks the end of his almost lifelong tenure in Galilee. We reflect on His amazing life.
The Lamb of God
Matt 19:1,2; Mark 10:1; Luke 9:51
Matthew 19:1 When Jesus had finished saying these things, he left Galilee and went into the region of Judea to the other side of the Jordan. 2 Large crowds followed him, and he healed them there.
For the most part, Christ grew up there except His short stint in Egypt, to escape Herod’s sword. He chose most of His disciples there.
He taught there and performed powerful miracles there. He lived a perfect life.
He turned His feet towards Jerusalem, where He had an important task to do. He consciously took steps to surrender Himself as an eternal sacrifice for the sins of the world.
In the previous passage He talks of God’s forgiveness of all debt. He reiterates the importance of forgiving others.
Before leaving His message is on forgiveness which He will demonstrate through the cross.
Even as He faces the cross, he is still full of love, forgiveness and service to others, which is what the cross is all about.
He had been rejected and cast out a few times during the last years of ministry.
We don’t know much of His life before but he must have similarly faced grief and sorrow silently.
Isaiah 53:1 Who has believed what he has heard from us?
And to whom has the arm of the Lord been revealed?
2 For he grew up before him like a young plant,
and like a root out of dry ground;
he had no form or majesty that we should look at him,
and no beauty that we should desire him.
3 He was despised and rejected by men,
a man of sorrows and acquainted with grief;
and as one from whom men hide their faces
he was despised, and we esteemed him not.
While the tabloids and paintings present Jesus as a majestic figure with charismatic presence, the prophet Isaiah indicates otherwise.
There was no majesty or beauty in his external form.
Only the beauty of Godly perfection that shone through Him.
He was often despised and rejected.
Acquainted with sorrow and grief.
The only spot of light in a dark world of sin.
The Lamb of God
Even as He faces the darkest days ahead and the impending cross, and crowds continue to follow Him with various motives, he continues to give His all to them, to heal and teach.
They didn’t realize the grace and glory in their midst. They didn’t realize the huge sacrifice He was going to make for them – of His own life.
John 1:14 The Word became flesh and made his dwelling among us. We have seen his glory, the glory of the one and only Son, who came from the Father, full of grace and truth.
These things characterized his presence in all situations:
John 1:9 The true light that gives light to everyone was coming into the world. 10 He was in the world, and though the world was made through him, the world did not recognize him. 11 He came to that which was his own, but his own did not receive him. 12 Yet to all who did receive him, to those who believed in his name, he gave the right to become children of God
John 1 says 4 In him was life, and that life was the light of all mankind.
The light he brought was life to all who believed. Abundant life, Eternal life.
In the midst of darkness, grief and rejection, many received healing. There was light and life being received by few. The light He gives is life to us.
God has done the same for us through the only Redeemer, Jesus who paid an exhorbitant price to redeem us.
Are we grateful to our redeemer?
While we will never understand the extent of His forgiveness, we can only begin to do so as we:
Experience and demonstrate His grace
Forgive unconditionally to those who seek it.
Reflect His life and love to those around us.
Jesus was all grace. In the midst of harsh criticism, he always responds by trying to teach and correct warped perception. He reaches out to the small, weak and helpless and those rejected by society. He challenges their faith and gave hope to the hopeless.
Despite frequent failures of His disciples, He tenaciously believes the best in them and keeps giving them chances as He does to us today.
Polycarp, Bishop of Smyrna was a personal disciple of John. As Christians were being martyred, they sought the leader. When they came to him fully armed, he welcomed his captors as if they were friends, talked with them and ordered food and drink to be served to them. This is grace.
He asked for one hour of prayer before capture. The officers overhearing his prayers which went on for two hours began to have second thoughts.
when Polycarp was brought into the arena, the proconsul pled with him: “Curse Christ and I will release you.”
REPLY: “Eighty-six years I have served Him. He had never done me wrong. How then can I blaspheme my King who has saved me?“ 
“For I rejoiced greatly when brethren came and testified of the truth that is in you, just as you walk in the truth. I have no greater joy than to hear that my children walk in truth.” 3 John 3-4.
There is no greater blessing, than to walk in the truth. This means to acknowledge it, to judge that which it shows us, to hate that which is found to be sin, and then to put sin to death by the power of the Spirit. Then we are in constant development, constant progress, continuous sanctification, and continuous transformation into the image of Christ. 
The world promises us many things. They often don’t pan out or leave us wanting. We learn not to take things seriously.
Jesus’ every word is a hundred percent true.
Every promise holds all it’s weight.
Every statement is to be believed even when we don’t understand.
Do we hear what He is speaking to us – the absolute truth?
“Jesus was all truth. He condemned many of the religious leaders of his day for being liars and hypocrites. He talked about hell more than he talked about heaven. He called all his those who would be his disciples to take up their cross daily and follow him. He prophesied judgment on Jerusalem for their unrepentant hearts. He obeyed the law, set standards, and demanded everything from his followers, even their very lives.
Jesus came from the Father full of grace and truth. All grace, all truth, all the time.” 
Even in the midst of sorrow and suffering, His love is pouring out to us all the time. In love, He left no stone unturned to constantly try to show an unrepentant world the great Hope of Salvation that He was offering. To try to pour wisdom into stubborn hearts. He was tenacious in persevering till the end.
His love for God and people is unmatched.
How much of His love do we have in our hearts?
Even in the midst of sorrow, rejection and distress, are we still reflecting the light and love of Christ? As we reach the end of life’s journey are we focussed on our service or our suffering?
Are we children of:
1.How did Jesus overcome the grief of constant rejection?
2.Grace and truth is a hard combination. Share examples of how you apply it in your lives?
3.Reflect on challenges you are facing personally. How can you bring light and love in those situations and be the victor?
- TGC – thegospelcoalition.org