Dear Friend,

This morning Jesus gave me some driving instructions. Since we all experience life as a journey, I’ll pass on what I heard.

In the section of Luke that I’m reading, Jesus has “set his face to go to Jerusalem.” (Luke 9:51) Jesus knows he must suffer many things there, be crucified, and only then be raised. He knows also that anyone who follows him will experience some version of the same journey, as we “take up [our] cross daily.” (Luke 9:23) So with compassion, Jesus teaches us wisdom. He wants us to know what to expect so we don’t lose heart and give up.

In the passage I read this morning, Jesus observes that we can understand weather patterns while lacking understanding of “the present time” in relation to God. (Luke 12:56) It so happens that I have to do extensive driving today, and when I saw frost the on ground and felt the infamous “wintry mix” in the air, I factored that into my travel plans. So Jesus asks me, in effect: what have you factored into your journey to God?

In the surrounding passages, Jesus informs my expectations by commenting on:

*demanding requirements (Luke 12:48)

*divisions within households (Luke 12:53)

*accusations needing quick settlements (Luke 12:58)

*religious-political violence (Luke 13:1), and

*the need to repent and bear fruit (Luke 13:9)

Jesus gives stern instructions because he knows how life goes, and he wants us to share the glory of his return to his Father in heaven. (Luke 24:26; John 17:22) Any suffering and sacrifices we make in our journey to God are slight and momentary compared to the reunion with God to which Jesus leads us. (2nd Cor. 4:17) It so happens that my extensive driving today is for the sake of a family reunion, to which I look forward with eager anticipation. How much more eagerly can I anticipate a reunion with Jesus and the innumerable family of God? (Rom. 8:29) I look forward to sharing that celebration with you. In the meantime: drive wisely.

Joel Kok