Certainty is in short supply these days.
For weeks upon weeks, we have as a people looked at charts and graphs. We have heard predictions and prognostications. We have observed advisements and opinions. And none of them, no matter which side of the aisle you sit on, have been right. At least not completely right.
And now we still sit, as a people, trying to decide what the right thing to do is. I, at least, am not entirely sure. I don’t know the right answers about gathering, about crowd sizes, and about how to love my neighbors. I am confused over what the next few months will hold from a social, economic, and emotional standpoint. Never before, it seems, has “certainty” about very much of anything been more of a moving target.
The lack of clarity can be maddening. It can interrupt your sleep and cause anxiety during the days. It can paralyze you into indecision about even the simplest of tasks. But, as with all things, the degree of uncertainty in our world can also be an opportunity. Specifically, it can be an opportunity to look to Jesus and find there the decisiveness and sureness of purpose that we so long for in all areas of life right now.
Luke 9:51 is a turning point in the gospel. Whereas up to this point, Jesus has kind of meandered His way around the countryside, verse 51 marks the last six months or so of His life. And in that verse, we find a committed and resolute Savior:
As the time approached for him to be taken up to heaven, Jesus resolutely set out for Jerusalem…
The time had come. The die had been cast. Jesus, who up to this point had repeatedly told people who wanted to crown Him as King or who wanted to broadcast their experiences from the rooftop, “My time has not yet come,” now set His face steadfastly toward Jerusalem. He knew where He was going. And He knew what awaited Him there.
Now this should be encouraging to us for any number of reasons.
It should, for example, remind us that the cross did not take Jesus by surprise. He knew it was coming before anyone else did, and He willingly went to the city and the moment God had chosen from before there was time. Courageously, Jesus chose the road of suffering because of His love for us and His obedience to the will of His Father. We should be deeply encouraged to follow someone so strong of purpose that, when the time was right, was unwilling to be swayed this way or that.
But it should also encourage us during these days when nothing in the world seems to be certain. When questions about what is right, what is good, and what is responsible are swirling above our heads like gnats, we still follow a resolute and decisive Savior. We can find, in Jesus, the absolute clarity we are longing for right now.
So, Christian, is it right for us to be asking all these questions? Of course it is. It is a good and right thing that we seek all the wisdom we can and to make decisions accordingly. But as we do, it is also good and right that we are reminded in the midst of our uncertainty that there is One who is yet sure and certain of all He does, even His own death.
Now is an opportunity to thank God for a decisive Savior.