In the life of our Lord, Jerusalem stands as the place where he reached the climax of his Father’s will. “For I have come down from heaven not to do my will but to do the will of him who sent me” (John 6:38). Doing his Father’s will was our Lord’s compelling purpose throughout his life. Nothing he met with along the way—neither joy nor sorrow, success nor failure—deterred him: “Jesus resolutely set out for Jerusalem” (Luke 9:51).

The big thing to remember is that we go to Jerusalem to fulfill God’s purpose, not our own. In our worldly life, our ambitions are our own. In our Christian life, we have no aims of our own. It’s common to hear people talking about their decision to follow Jesus Christ, their determination to be Christian. In the New Testament, the emphasis is on God’s decision: “You did not choose me, but I chose you” (John 15:16). We don’t have any conscious awareness of God’s decision; we are taken up into his purpose without any awareness at all. Nor do we have any conception of what he is aiming at. As we go on in our life with him, our understanding of his goal only gets more and more vague.

God’s aim looks like it’s missing the mark because we are too short-sighted to see his target. At the beginning of our life as Christians, we have our own ideas of God’s purpose. We think, “God has called me to do a special work,” and we go and do the work. Yet the work doesn’t satisfy the feeling of being compelled by his larger purpose.

“Jesus took the Twelve aside” (Luke 18:31). He is taking us aside for his purpose all the time. There’s more to his plan than we have yet understood.

Wisdom from Oswald

Sincerity means that the appearance and the reality are exactly the same.
Studies in the Sermon on the Mount