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With Steadfast Face

With Steadfast Face

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Published by glennpease
BY REV. W. M. CLOW, B.D.



"And it came to pass, when the time was come that He should be
I received up, He stedfastly set His face to go to Jerusalem." LUKE
ix . 51.
BY REV. W. M. CLOW, B.D.



"And it came to pass, when the time was come that He should be
I received up, He stedfastly set His face to go to Jerusalem." LUKE
ix . 51.

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Published by: glennpease on Jul 31, 2013
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12/18/2014

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WITH STEADFAST FACEBY REV. W. M. CLOW, B.D."And it came to pass, when the time was come that He should beI received up, He stedfastly set His face to go to Jerusalem." LUKEix . 51.THE shortness of the step between the Transfiguration and the Cross has neither been clearly recognisednor sufficiently considered. It has been unnoticed,partly because the Gospel writers make few clearnotes of time, and partly because the brief transcriptof the events at Caesarea Philippi is placed near to thecentre of each Gospel. Few readers have realisedthat we have only brief and broken accounts of thefirst two years of Christ s ministry. It does notreadily occur, even to a student s mind, that only thestory of the last events of Christ s life has been toldwith a large fulness of detail.It was in the autumn of the third year of Hisministry that Jesus withdrew, with His disciples, tohold this religious retreat among the hills thatcluster round the northern end of the Jordan valley.It was in the autumn, that lovely time of the year,known elsewhere as the Indian summer, that Jesus323324 THE SECRET OF THE LORDsought this season of refreshment and renewal. Insome six or seven months afterwards He entered
 
Jerusalem as its king. It was in the spring, whenthe winter was past, and the rain was over and gone,and the flowers were appearing in Joseph s garden,that Jesus died. He came down from the mount of His Transfiguration, having seen His heavenly vision,with this one thing to do to be obedient to it andto fulfil the will of God by dying on His cross. Hewould spend the winter in Capernaum. He wouldheal the bowed down in the synagogue, and openthe eyes of the blind by the way. He would speak to men who sought Him out and asked Him to theirtables. He would spend many hours in conversewith His disciples, and, in clear counsel and bysolemn parable, He would prepare them for theirsolemn charge. Then, when the Passover Feast wasat hand, He would gird up His loins, give one lastlook to all that was dear to Him in Galilee, and passup through Samaria to present Himself as the Lambof God that taketh away the sin of the world.That is the point of time that Luke marks when hewrites, " And it came to pass, when the time wascome that He should be received up, He stedfastlyset His face to go to Jerusalem."This is a picture of Jesus. It is the portrait of Jesus with the steadfast face. It is the portrait of our Lord with His secret hidden in His heart as theimpulse of His life. He had already twice declaredit to the disciples, but its message was too strangeWITH STEADFAST FACE 325for them. We, who know it, can see this secret of His cross revealed in every word He spoke and everydeed He did. We see it most clearly in that unhast-ing, unresting, undeviating progress to Calvary. Onthe mount He had accepted the will of God. Onthe way to Jerusalem He is fulfilling it. Let us
 
look at this picture of Christ to understand whatthe steadfast face in accepting the will of God meantfor Him, and means for all, who will follow in Hissteps.I. In the first place : In accepting the will of God we find and fulfil the work given us to do.It must not be thought that the will of God wasalways clear to Christ. He had also, like others,to comfort Himself with the assurance, " He knoweththe way that I take." He was found in fashion asa man, and in nothing more is that seen to be truethan in this need of going forward with a steadfastface. We must never think that He saw the wayto the cross, as one sees a road who looks upon itfrom a commanding height. With Him as with us,He found and fulfilled His work as He accepted thewill of God with steadfast endeavour to do it.There has often occurred to my mind a pictureof the life of Christ, and the issue of it, had Hewavered in doing the will of God. Had He comedown from the mount of Transfiguration with itsclear vision of Calvary, and refused to set His facesteadfastly, what would have been the record of 326 THE SECRET OF THE LORDJesus of azareth ? In some solitude among thehills of Galilee, or on some lovely spot beside itslake, or in some little mountain village, He mighthave founded a school of disciples, gathered aboutHim for meditation and for prayer. He might havebuilt a house of mercy and a haunt of peace. Hemight have become the leader of one more of thosecountless communities which the East brings forthgeneration after generation. There would have beenmany a conversation and conference on the things

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