None of These Things - A Meditation on Luke 18:34

By Rev. Eric Brown

“But they understood none of these things. This saying was hidden from them, and they did not grasp what He said.”

Jesus Christ is not your fairy godmother. He's not a genie in a bottle or a falling star to wish upon. He's not in the business of wish fulfillment. His job, His task is to win forgiveness with His death upon the Cross. His job is to bring about the restoration of Creation with resurrection on Easter. And this is what we see Jesus doing all the time in the Gospel – forgiving people and fixing little bits of the fall, undoing little consequences of sin. His redemptive work which we see in full in the last day bubbles out early.

In Luke 18, the disciples still don't see this. They don't want a Jesus who dies and rises. Even when Jesus tells them flat out that this is what He will do, it makes no sense to them. It isn't what they want. They want a glorious revolution, a new earthly kingdom, power and respect from friends and crushed enemies at their feet. The thing is, those sort of wishes are the sort of thing Lucifer would offer to fulfill (check back next week). But that's not what Jesus does. He's not interested in earthly glory or giving the disciples everything their sinful hearts desire. He is focused upon the Cross.

The temptation still remains for us today to try to treat Jesus as though His job is to give us what we want. We can even pout when we don't get our way, when our vain dreams of glory or stuff or popularity or wealth don't play out the way we want them to. But while we often get distracted by foolish things, Jesus has a single minded focus upon the Cross – and He has this focus for you, for your good. Jesus is determined to be your Lord and Savior, and so He goes to the cross and wins you salvation. And that is more joyous than anything else we could have thought to wish for.

Rev. Eric Brown is pastor of Trinity Lutheran Church in Herscher, Illinois.

Created: February 21st, 2017