A Life on the Road
And as Jesus was going up to Jerusalem, he took the twelve disciples aside, and on the way he said to them, “See, we are going up to Jerusalem. And the Son of Man will be delivered over to the chief priests and scribes, and they will condemn him to death and deliver him over to the Gentiles to be mocked and flogged and crucified, and he will be raised on the third day.” (Matthew 20:17-20, ESV)
During my playing days on the LPGA Tour, road trips were a routine part of the job. I would journey from one city to the next for three, four, six weeks in a row before returning home. Recently, I rolled into my garage after a six-week road trip that covered 6200 miles and touched 16 different states.
My 2018 road trip was not about playing golf. Matter of fact, I only played 45 holes in total. My intentions were to reconnect with people from many different seasons of my life. I visited old and new friends. We laughed, cried, remembered, and created new memories. Lament and gratitude danced in my soul. The trip didn’t go exactly as planned and it required flexibility.
If you think about it, Jesus’ ministry was one big road trip. He had much to accomplish and traveled countless miles in all directions. Each mile carried his purpose, always looking forward toward the cross and resurrection. Jesus was intentional about where he went, where he stopped, and the miracles he performed. Every encounter revealed sacrificial love to all people.
His last road trip started in Capernaum where he taught his disciples they must be servants and be aware of temptations to sin. From there he headed southeast to Judea beyond the Jordan. The Pharisees tested Jesus, and he took the children in his arms and blessed them. Along the way, Jesus encouraged a young rich man to sell all that he possessed and follow him. The rich man walked away disheartened and Jesus went on his way.
At the appointed time, Jesus turned his face up to Jerusalem and very clearly told his disciples how he would be condemned, mocked, crucified, and raised on the third day.
Along the road near Jericho, Jesus met a blind beggar. The disciples wanted to pass him by, but Jesus took time to stop and gave the man his sight. One more life changed forever.
Jesus knew every nuance, every bump, and every need along his route. He didn’t need a GPS to find his destination. He knew his road trip was taking him to the cross, broken and bruised. Stop reading for a moment and allow the gravity of these words—broken and bruised—to settle inside you. What do you feel and where do you feel it?
Jesus hung on the cross for you and for me. And because he walked out of the grave three days later, all of humanity was given the opportunity to choose a new road to travel. The terrain may not always be easy, but when we choose to walk every mile with Jesus, detours and all, he will lead us to our eternal destination. Now that is good news!
March 8, 2018
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