And Don’t Look Ahead

Strange thing to say, isn’t it? We want to see what’s ahead. But in Luke’s account of Jesus’ journey to Jerusalem–which we read from this Sunday– Jesus warns his disciples as he nears the Holy City to be wary about what they see coming.

First, some disciples like James and John thought the journey would bring about the kingdom of God on earth and they wanted a big place in it. Their dream didn’t come true. Then, other disciples as they entered the city saw the temple itself, “adorned with costly stones and votive offerings,” and believed something so beautiful would go on forever. They were wrong too.

Jesus said, “All that you see here–
the days will come when there will not be left
a stone upon another stone that will not be thrown down.”

We have to be wary of messianic claims from those who claim to know the future. “Many will come in my name, saying, ‘I am he,” and “The time had come.’ Do not follow them!” Jesus says. The future is in God’s hands, not in ours.

The journey Jesus makes does not end in Jerusalem, according to Luke, it’s completed in his resurrection, and that will surprise us. Luke’s account of Jesus’ death in Jerusalem offers the surprising promise he makes to the thief crucified on his right, whose only hope is in him. “Today, you will be with me in paradise.”

That’s the future we trust in.

3 thoughts on “And Don’t Look Ahead

  1. Gail Smyder

    Don’t look back and don’t look ahead—-but seize the day—is what I am hearing. I think of those perfectly beautiful days that we want to hold on to and the painful ones–they both make us who we are and how we become……


  2. Gloria

    Re: Don’t Look Back, And Don’t Look Ahead:

    Life Time

    Yesterday is gone,
    never to return.
    Tomorrow is a mystery,
    all we have is now.

    The past is far behind us,
    the future isn’t ours.
    Today is all the time we have,
    a precious gift from God.

    Treasure each dear moment
    before it slips away.
    The time to live is here and now,
    a precious gift from God.

    Gloria Ziemienski 7/21/99


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