Going Forth

John 18:4
Jesus therefore, knowing all things that should come upon him, went forth, and said unto them, Whom seek ye?

Jesus went forth to His expected end.  He went forth to face these men with swords and staves, to face the council of the chief priests and Pontius Pilate and his band of soldiers.  Jesus went forth to the torture and death that awaited Him.  Jesus stepped toward the humiliation and the rejection and those awful, lonely moments where the wrath of God was poured out upon Him.  He knew what was coming and went toward it willingly.  He didn’t run away or try to hide.  He didn’t send another in His stead.  He didn’t put anyone else in danger.

Jesus simply went forth, as He was always going forth—from heaven to earth, from His glory to helpless baby, from His riches to poverty, from His earthly parents to His Father’s work.  He went forth to minister, seeking lost souls and hurting people to heal and to help and to save.  He went forth among the hostile, into danger, forsaking His own comfort.  He faced sleepless nights and hunger and storms on the sea.  And then at the appointed time, He went forth to Jerusalem and forth to His cross.  He went forth into the grave, into hell, and then forth into His glory once again.

There was no backing down, no shying away from His Father’s will, His plan and His purpose.  So may we, too, go forth with the same humility and obedience and determination into our Father’s will for us.  Unlike Jesus, we don’t know exactly what we will face.  And perhaps, in our weakness, we wouldn’t be willing to go, like He was, if we knew what awaited us.  But we each have a call and a purpose from God.  We have a set path to walk, places to go, lives to touch in meetings ordained by God.  We have tasks to complete, trials to endure and work to do.

And we can’t be slack.  We can’t turn back.  We can’t lose sight of what awaits us in the distance—our own ascent to glory someday to be with our Lord forever.  So while we still draw breath, may we continually go forth into the world to serve and love and share the light of Christ.  May we go forth to our duty, our reasonable service, seeking the honor and glory of our Master.  May we go forth giving our lives to Christ as He gave His for us.

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