“They were on the road, going up to Jerusalem, and Jesus was walking ahead of them; they were amazed, and those who followed were afraid. He took the twelve aside again and began to tell them what was to happen to him, saying, “See, we are going up to Jerusalem, and the Son of Man will be handed over to the chief priests and the scribes, and they will condemn him to death; then they will hand him over to the Gentiles; they will mock him, and spit upon him, and flog him, and kill him; and after three days he will rise again.” —Mark 10:32-34
Jesus knew that people who said the kinds of things he said and did the kind of things he did in Jerusalem were likely to end up on a Roman cross.
As Christians ready to embark on the week we call holy, we do well to recall that when Jesus set his face to Jerusalem, he knew where he was going.
But his disciples didn’t know, and they weren’t ready for the journey he was taking. Because he loved them he wanted to prepare them for what was to come.
Here on the road, before he entered the city, he took the twelve disciples apart and told them the hard truth about his vocation and where it was to take him. He will try again to prepare them around a table on the night he is betrayed.
But we know from later in this week’s story that they were still not prepared. We know that one of them will betray him, one will deny him, and all the rest will flee from him.
Which raises the question for the church in every generation: are we any more prepared to follow him than they were?
Prayer: We want to follow you, Jesus, but we never know quite where you will take us. Prepare us for the journey, and remind us that wherever we follow you, you will be with us.