Then he said to his disciples, "Let us go back to Judea." "But Rabbi," they said, "a short while ago the Jews tried to stone you, and yet you are going back there?" (John 11:7-8)
It is intriguing to see Jesus’ response to his disciples question in regard to his command to accompany Him back to Judea. By their response above, the disciples were responding out of fear from their own limited human perspective. Their reaction and advice to Jesus (imagine that, advising Jesus) was based upon human reason and emotion, “Jesus, don’t be foolish, you were almost killed in Judea the last time you were there. Next time you might not be so fortunate!”
But you see, every decision of Jesus, every move he made, every direction he took, was in response to his Father’s leading. Jesus said, “The Son can only do what he sees his Father doing, for whatever the Father does the Son also does” (John 5:19). Should we be any different? There are times in our lives that we sense the Spirit prompting us a certain direction, but when we consider that leading, doing so evokes concern, anxiety, or even (if we are honest) fear. Rather than trust the Spirit’s leading, we quickly judge that God surly could not be leading that direction because the consequences could be very negative. But since when has God’s leading ever been based solely upon our level of comfort with that leading? Jesus decision to return to Judea was not determined by his emotions. His Father was his guide.
The prospect of death was even more evident a short time later. We see Jesus struggled emotionally in the Garden of Gethsemane over his Father’s plan for his life, the cross. If he had strictly followed his emotions in that circumstance, would he have gone to the cross? Jesus’ primary concern was his Father’s will, which he wanted to be done no matter the cost to himself. Many believe Thomas’ response to Jesus command to return to Judea to be sarcastic, “Let us also go, that we may die with him!” (John 11:16). Yet, Thomas' response should be our response anytime Jesus calls, minus the sarcasm, of course.
Question: Is there a direction God is leading you that you are hesitant to go because it evokes a negative emotion like fear or anxiety?
Challenge: Are you willing to say to God, “Not my will but yours be done,” and follow God’s leading?
Prayer: Oh Lord, give me the courage and strength to obey your leading even when I’m not comfortable with it. Amen!
Rob Crose -- BC Staff