And they were in the way going up to Jerusalem; and Jesus went before them: and they were amazed; and as they followed…
Full of calm resolve Christ comes forth to die. Behold the little company on the steep rocky mountain road that leads up from Jericho to Jerusalem; our Lord far in advance of His followers, with a fixed purpose stamped upon His face, and something of haste in His stride, and that in His whole demeanour which shed a strange astonishment and awe ever the group of silent and uncomprehending disciples.
I. WE HAVE HERE WHAT, FOR WANT OF A BETTER NAME, I WOULD CALL THE HEROIC CHRIST. The Ideal Man unites in Himself what men are in the habit, somewhat superciliously, of calling the masculine virtues, as well as those which they somewhat contemptuously designate the feminine. He reads to us the lesson, that we must resist and persist, whatever stands between us and our goal. The most tenacious steel is the most flexible, and he who has the most fixed and definite resolve may be the one whose heart is most open to all human sympathies, and is strong with the almightiness of gentleness.
II. THE SELF-SACRIFICING CHRIST. Hastening to His cross; surrendering Himself to death. His self-sacrifice was not the flinging away of the life which He ought to have preserved, nor carelessness, nor the fanaticism of a martyr, nor the enthusiasm of a hero and champion; but the voluntary death of Him who of His own will became in His death the oblation and satisfaction for the sins of the whole world.
III. THE SHRINKING CHRIST. May not part of the reason for His haste have been that instinct which we all have, when some inevitable grief or pain lies before us, to get it over soon, and to abbreviate the moments that lie between us and it? (See Luke 12:50; John 13:27.)In Christ this natural instinct never became a desire or purpose. It had so much power over Him as to make Him march a little faster to the cross, but it never made Him turn from it.
IV. THE LONELY CHRIST. Unappreciated aims; unshared purposes; misunderstood sorrow; solitude of death — all this He bore, that no human soul, living or dying, might ever be lonely any more.
(A. Maclaren, D. D.)
Parallel VersesKJV: And they were in the way going up to Jerusalem; and Jesus went before them: and they were amazed; and as they followed, they were afraid. And he took again the twelve, and began to tell them what things should happen unto him,
WEB: They were on the way, going up to Jerusalem; and Jesus was going in front of them, and they were amazed; and those who followed were afraid. He again took the twelve, and began to tell them the things that were going to happen to him.