It Gets Lonely At The Top




 They were now on the way up to Jerusalem, and Jesus was walking ahead of them. The disciples were filled with awe, and the people following behind were overwhelmed with fear.

~Mark 10:32, NLT


Loneliness is a required course for Leadership.

~Elisebeth Elliot

Jesus left Jericho and was making His final walk up the Jericho road to Jerusalem. Jericho is 846 feet below sea level and Zion is 2,510 feet above which is a climb of 3,356 feet and a distance of 22 miles. Jesus traveled with an entourage and no one knows exactly how many were in His group. The twelve are directly behind Him but there are others. We may be talking about 60-100 people in all. Usually Jesus is joking, jesting, teaching, telling stories but on this day, He is solemn. He is in deep thought and not saying much. No one in the group wants Him to go to Jerusalem. They know that the Jewish religious establishment in intent on killing Jesus. I have read and preached this same passage in Luke but I had not noticed the extra detail that Mark gives. Those following Jesus were afraid; they were overwhelmed with fear. They were in awe that He would face this hatred head on. Who would do such a thing?

I can tell you in a heartbeat what Jack would do. I would change course immediately. I would go back to Galilee {which is north there but like the South here} where the people are friendly and the fishing is good. The KJV says in Luke 9:51, And it came to pass, when the time was come that he should be received up, He stedfastly set His face to go to Jerusalem. Several translations read, “He was determined to go to Jerusalem.” The NLT and NIV says He was resolute. How much distance do you think there was between Jesus and the others? Physically, probably a few feet but spiritually, the gap was infinite. The weight of the world’s sin was collecting on Jesus shoulders and it was getting heavier by the minute. He who knew no sin, would take on all our sin and the shame and horror that goes with it. Where ever there is sin, there will be death and a hell to pay and Jesus took it all on Himself in our behalf.

What about a practical application. Jesus is ahead of us in every phase and yes there is some distance between us. When it comes to wisdom and understanding, we are not close. When it comes to love and showing mercy, we are not close. He turns and talks at His discretion: our responsible is to follow. Where is He leading us? It doesn’t matter–He knows and that is all that matters. Do we understand why or how? Probably not, His disciples didn’t but they followed Him anyway. Remember the encounter in John 21…Jesus has cornered Peter and is humbling him and yet restoring him. In Peter’s attempt to evade the heat he points to John and says to Jesus, “What about him, LORD?” Have you thought about Jesus reply? “If I want him to remain alive until I return, what is that to you? As for you, follow me.” Our job is not to figure things out; our job is to follow. We don’t have to see he end, all we have to keep our eyes on is Jesus.


I confess, I don’t watch network news but I do a little reading. According to the article I read, the invasion is not going well for Putin. He assumed that the Ukrainians were unhappy with their present condition and would hail the Russian Army as liberators especially in the Russian speaking districts but it has not worked out that way. The Russians planned to conclude the invasion in two weeks and that is not going to happen. They have lost an estimated 4,000 men and are running low on supplies. Putin big problem is that he did not want the Ukraine to join NATO or the European Union. He also underestimated the resolve of the Ukrainian President. There is opposition to the war in Russia but the leader of the resistance has been put in prison. The resistance seems to be underground. This writer believed that neither the opposition in Russian not political heads of state in the west will have any bearing on Putin decisions. He fears no consequences from the US or anyone else. We all know what will happen here is Putin were to withdraw. Biden would be hailed a hero for his sanctions. It is a bitter pill to swallow but we must continue to pray for God to turn Putin in another direction. You and I will know the truth: it will be the LORD who turns him, not Biden. We believers will give God the glory.

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