I was born on a Wednesday, and they say that Wednesday’s child is full of woe. Wednesday is the day we will spend focusing on the honest hope that Jesus poured out on His true believers who stayed near Him on the Mount of Olives. You remember that Jesus spent that last week of His life in the vicinity of Jerusalem in two main places—the Temple area during the daytime and retiring to the Mount of Olives at night. Those who followed him to the Mount of Olives were the true believers. They received a different message than what was preached at the Temple and aimed at the religious leaders.
The woes were blasted against the chief priests and teachers. The good news was shared with the ones who where true priests and teachers because they were the ones who understood that He was the Son of God. They weren't listening to Him to catch Him in some kind of crime. The method Jesus used to change the world was intimate, one-on-one communication. His messages on the Mount of Olives were to the ones who would take up His mission of glorifying the Father on earth. Jesus knew when to speak to the crowds and when to spend quality time with the people who were anointed to make the difference in the world. John 12:36 tells us that.
“When he [Jesus] had finished speaking, Jesus left and hid himself from them.”
In contrast to what we studied about the unbelief of the religious leaders on Tuesday, on Wednesday we look at the way Jesus speaks to those who see Him as who He is, the Son of God. They get a different message.
Jesus tells the folks with Him on the Mount about a time in the future when He will return for them. He hasn't even left yet. And although He has been holding nothing back in warning them about what is about to happen, they only see Him as the Son of God who will rule on this earth now. They don't quite grasp that there will be an “in-between” time.
Jesus senses this, but He tells them what they need to know anyway. He knows they will begin to understand on Sunday. He is merely putting this idea in their minds for future reference. So what does Jesus teach the true believers? He teaches them to be prepared for His second coming. He wants them to fully understand that they should live on this earth with eternity on their minds. He tells them that our lifetimes are a part of the journey, not the destination.
I'm planning for a big trip right now. Part of my preparations will involve packing a bag to carry with me on the plane. I want to be comfortable on my long plane ride. I'm going to pack my neck pillow, and I have other goodies in my bag. There are things I need to think about for the plane trip, but the majority of my planning and thinking has been about the destination. I've been reading travel guides. I've been talking to people who have been there before. I am most looking forward to the destination.
Too many of us live like the plane ride is the destination. We are so busy making ourselves comfortable in the plane, making sure we have the right fixings that indicate a successful life, that we don't even have room in our minds to consider the destination. Life on earth is like a plane ride. We do need a neck pillow and perhaps a blanket and a book to read. Yet how much time do we spend thinking about where we are going? Jesus wants us to think about it every day of our lives. He says it should come into play about every decision we make. True believers listen to Him and look and wait for His return. (Matthew 24-26:13; Mark 13:2-14:2; Luke 21:25-38)
Note: I’ve written Holy Week Devotions which are available at http://www.pcbc.org/holyweekdevotions if you would like to think about what Jesus did each day of Holy Week. May you have a blessed Holy Week!