How Resolute Are We?
Our reading today is from Luke 9, and Luke really does fill this chapter with some very significant stories. Jesus sends out the Twelve on the limited commission, feeds the five thousand, is confessed as the “The Christ of God” and casts a demon out of a boy. This was definitely not a slow news day! Oh yeah, Jesus was also transfigured into a spiritual form and sets out on His last trip.
I remember being taught the story of the Transfiguration on a flannelgraph (if you don't know what that is then I'm not going to tell you). I've taught and read this story enough to where it seems like an old story. But think about it-- Jesus is walking along with Peter, James and John, and then POW! His appearance changes to where he is as bright as a flash of lightening. And then POW! Moses and Elijah appear with him... although we’re not told just how Peter, James and John KNOW that these visages were Moses and Elijah. Maybe they had "My Name Is..." badges?
And then there is the last trip (9:51). Like the confession of Jesus, this verse marks a critical turning point in Luke's telling of the story of Jesus. While John makes it clear that Jesus made several different trips to Jerusalem, Luke telescopes all of them into one trip. He organizes his material in such a way that Jesus makes the conscious decision to go to Jerusalem to "resolutely set out" for Jerusalem where he will go to the cross. Most of the action and teaching in Luke takes place during this intentional trip from Galilee to Jerusalem... and the cross.
Jesus knew where he was going. His life had a purpose, and every decision that he made contributed to that overall purpose. He resolutely set out to accomplish the will of the Father, and he would not be distracted from that course.
So what is the purpose of our life? Do we really understand that we were made for God's glory? Is that not what God is telling us through Isaiah—
Bring my sons from afar and my daughters from the ends of the earth— everyone who is called by my name, whom I created for my glory, whom I formed and made. (Isaiah 43:6-7)
I was made for God’s glory. So were you. The reason we exist is to glorify God. Jesus knew that the reason he was on earth was to glorify God, “I have brought you glory on earth by completing the work you gave me to do.” (John 17:44). He was able to do that because he knew his purpose and resolutely set out to accomplish it. How resolute are we?