Why did Jesus go to Jerusalem?

Posted by Christine Nusse on Apr 3, 2007 | Categories: Seasons of the Spirit

Why did Jesus go up to Jerusalem? His family, his friends warned him not to. They implored him not to. It was clear the religious authorities were trying to silence him. Euphemism for killing! But he went anyway. Jesus was already famous throughout Galilee and Judea, even Samaria. He was curing the sick and raising the dead! Can you imagine? Wouldn’t you try to see someone who raised the dead? Lazarus’ resurrection had been a public event. From a well off family Lazarus had many friends and relatives who all witnessed his death and his resurrection! This was becoming a big media event.
So, many trotted to Jerusalem for Passover, eager to see Jesus and Lazarus. The authorities were getting more and more angry and scared. A bad combination!
If only Jesus had retreated to Galilee, maybe gone back to the desert for a while, things would have time to calm down. Did Jesus want to initiate a show down?
He had decided to go up. After preaching his message throughout the countryside, even to Samaria he saw that now was the time to bring it to a wider audience, the Jews gathered in Jerusalem from all over the world for the holidays. So Jesus went to Jerusalem, sat in the temple and taught.
This was nothing short of a provocation, many thought, even among his friends. With all the tension in the city at the time, the Romans always looking for an opportunity to crucify Jews, the Zealots fomenting rebellion, now was not the time. Maybe when things would settle down a bit. Later would be better. Jesus was really looking for trouble! Didn’t he know that many would suffer the consequences with him, because of him? What about his mother, his family?
Jesus meanwhile, stood calm in the middle of the growing the storm, still a bit euphoric after his acclaimed entrance in the city. He was certain, peaceful. He was doing the right thing. The time had come to be public about who he was and to meet whatever consequences could arise from that. That was for him the right thing to do. He was who he was, doing what he was born to do, and come what may! He had no control over the consequences of being who he was, faithful to what a lifelong intimacy with God in prayer had led his conscience to know to be the one thing to do.
Jesus had drawn his line in the sand.

Bookmark and Share

Leave a Reply