“They were on the road going up to Jerusalem, and Jesus was walking on ahead of them; and they were amazed, and those who followed were fearful.” (Mark 10:32)
We are told in Mark’s Gospel that Jesus and the disciples went up to Jerusalem together, but how differently their hearts felt about the path they took. Jesus walked on ahead, lead the way or we might say He was resolved to go to Jerusalem knowing perfectly what was in store for Him. His followers went reluctantly and in fear. They were amazed that He would return to Jerusalem knowing that the leaders were resolved to have him put to death.
The disciples understood from the scriptures that the Messiah would rule and reign in His coming kingdom. They were correct, it was the timetable that they did not get right. One day Jesus will return to reign in the kingdom that will have been prepared for Him. There is a mutual agreement within the Godhead about all things, so much so that no one person within the Trinity acts independently of the other. Oh, that the church of Jesus Christ could operate in the same manner. Total agreement is a glorious state, as it mirrors perfectly the harmony among Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. One day all behavior in the eternal kingdom will perfectly mirror the union of our triune God, but until then we will have to be forgiving and full of grace for one another.
After Jesus foretold the treatment that He would experience by the chief priests and the Gentiles, the disciples asked from Him a favor. Jesus introduced His disciples to the cup and the baptism, and then told them He could not grant their request.
“But to sit on My right or on My left, this is not Mine to give; but it is for those for whom it has been prepared." (10:40)
When He said, ‘this is not Mine to give,’ He did not mean He had no authority to grant their request. In John’s Gospel Jesus told His disciples that He was going to prepare a place for them. He was saying that the place in the kingdom for believers is a mutual decision between Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. When Jesus taught His disciples about the Holy Spirit’s ministry, in John 16, He said, He would not speak for Himself. Why not? Is not the Holy Spirit God? Yes, He is. However, within the trinity there is complete harmony and agreement, so not one person overrides another. In eternity past all things were decided by God, and a Christian who understand the goodness of God would not have it any other way. The all important question that must always be answered correctly is this, is God Lord and Master or are we? The only correct answer is to say that the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, who is the One true God is Lord and Master of all. No other answer will do! Our life is one of faith, which is to be built upon the proposition that God is sovereign and He alone is good.
Before time began God decided all things that would come to pass for all eternity. I know it is mind blowing, but God is that great. He does not do things on the fly, or decide things the last minute. He does all things to perfection, and plans all things before they came to be and until forever.
Jesus went up to Jerusalem to be crucified, rejected, tortured, and yes, experience God’s incomprehensible wrath on sin. Jesus was the substitutionary lamb. The death of Christ was not an oversight or a last minute thing, but something that was decided among the members of the divine trinity. How much more should we trust God for all the little details of our life that may seem to be wrong, out of God’s control, or just really annoying. God knows what He is doing, what He is allowing, and it all fits in the divine plan for His glory and our good. So let us praise God for His perfect work in a fallen world.