Week 25 Chapters 19-20-21 “Parting is such sweet Sorrow”Matt 21-25; Mark 11-13; Luke 19: 29-48; Luke 20-21; John 12:20-33
As He walked with the twelve, Jesus was beginning to experience both the joy of what was ahead, as well as a deep sorrow. The time of the Gentiles, predicted in the Old Testament, would commence after His departure from here. While He was about to bring in that new covenant, He was also preparing to leave the people who had become His close companions. Despite the fact that it was all part of the Plan, and necessary in order for the Holy Spirit to come, the shepherd was sad because He was about to leave His sheep. He must now prepare to suffer and die for the cause.
His message had now taken on a new intensity, and began to include other people. Some Greeks, who were very curious about Him, came to Philip and asked to let them “see Jesus.” Philip, who was also apparently a seeker of truth, discussed the matter with Andrew before taking it to Jesus. Until this time, Jesus had directed His message to Jews, with very little, if any focus on others. The actions of these Greeks, however, evoked deep emotion in Jesus. Especially because they were not Jews, their sincerity of heart moved Him because they were the type of worshippers that God desired. This had to encourage Jesus as He moved toward the Cross.
While He may have been encouraged about the believers to come, His heart was broken over the state of affairs that had overcome Israel. He was angry, sad, and disappointed that His people had rejected Him and His message. He was angry at their stubbornness and self will. He was disappointed that although the purpose of His arrival was to gather them, they rejected Him. Moreover, He was sad that although He brought a message of hope and renewal, their overwhelming sin had prevented them from seeing and hearing that He had come to set them free. In spite of their meticulous religiosity, they had become prisoners of their own minds.
As He looked at what Israel had become, Jesus was compelled to define discipleship to those who would hear. His focus was not on the outward religiosity of man, but on the yielded heart of a man who loved God. This love of God would overflow from the lives of His disciples into a love and mercy toward others. The attitude of a good disciple will result in three rewards that Jesus had taught the twelve. First, it is the joy of the accomplishment of a difficult task. Servant hood is a difficult task given our broken nature. We do not like to serve; we like to be served. We do not like to depend on others (especially the Holy Spirit). Without Him, however, we can do nothing. Secondly, we will have the joy of pleasing our Savior. Jesus had so much love for us, that giving whatever we have to give back will certainly feel good. Finally, we will have joy that we are active. We can be happy that we are doers of the Word and not only hearers.
While parting is such sweet sorrow, in time, our reunion will make up for it.
See Ya Next Time.