Eyes on the Prize

July 16th, 2008 • Category: Gospel of Luke
by Melody Merida

Today’s scripture: Luke 13:31-35 (ESV-text and audio) (KJV) (The Message)

As you read, consider: What might God be saying to me? Summarize your thoughts in a sentence or two.

My thoughts (Melody Merida):

I just love it when Jesus gets sassy. In fact, I like his comment about the “fox” so much that I think I might start using that phrase. The next time someone tells me about an evil plot against me, I plan to say “Go tell that fox…” (Granted, I’ve not once heard about an evil plot against me, but anything is possible.)

The really interesting part of this passage to me is the itinerary that Jesus has. You see, I tend to be someone who thrives on structure and organization so an itinerary makes perfect sense to me. Jesus was saying, “Hey, I’ve got a couple more days before I accomplish what I want to accomplish here and I’m not stopping until my schedule tells me it’s time to stop.”

Recently, I was in Chicago for a few days with some close friends of mine. At several intervals during the trip, I would ask, “What are we going to do next?” And when someone answered that question for me, I would respond with, “What are we going to do after that?” Needless to say my friends became quite frustrated with me and told me to just relax and go with the flow. The problem was that I felt as if nothing was flowing. They wanted to just sit in the park or take a leisurely stroll and relax. In my mind, relaxing wasn’t on the agenda, we had too many other things to do in the few short days we were there.

I was feeling pretty bad about my desire for an itinerary until I read this passage of Scripture. I was delighted when I read Jesus himself give some details from his itinerary to the Pharisees. He was very specific that he had only a few days to accomplish his goal of casting out demons and healing the sick. Only when he was finished on the third day would it be time for him to leave.

While I certainly do think that it is important for us to relax sometimes and refuel (and maybe not turn vacation time into a forced march!) it is also important for us to get busy. There is much work to do if we want to be a builder of the Kingdom of God. Jesus sets an example for us in this story when he is determined to accomplish his tasks regardless of the challenges he’s given. Let’s determine to be the same way.

Thought for the day: Jesus didn’t let even a death threat keep him from his mission. What about me? Am I easily distracted?

We encourage you to include a time of prayer with this reading.  If you need a place to get started, consider the guidelines on the How to Pray page.

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