For I seek not to please myself but him who sent me. John 5:30b
If I said I did not, I would be a liar like you, but I do know him and obey his word. John 8:55b
…but the Father who sent me commanded me to say all that I have spoken. John 12:49
Yet not as I will, but as you will. Matthew 28:39b
The words of Jesus are revealing of the posture with which he came and lived among us. They are reflective of a surrender and submission to the first person of the Trinity. There is no questioning what moved, motivated, and molded his actions, priorities, and words. Jesus came to represent and reveal the one who sent him. Jesus was clear about that and completely faithful to the mission that brought him from heaven to earth.
The will of the one who sent him didn’t only inform his teaching, his way of living, and the shape of his public ministry; it demanded he walk to Jerusalem to be betrayed, accused, tried, tortured, and crucified. The walk to such a fate demands great trust, total surrender, and a submission that few of us could ever fathom. Despite this, we are invited by Jesus to join in following his will and way.
Whoever wants to be my disciple must deny himself and take up his cross daily and follow me. Luke 9:23
Numerous have followed, many to the same fate as Jesus, willingly giving up their lives. In this season of Lent, we must confront our tendency to demand our rights, to cling to our way, and to impose our will. During this season of forty days of repentance, will we be molded by the way of our Master? Will we be willing to submit to this denial of self, that we might find our new way in the new life of following Jesus?
May this be our prayer over the coming days: Not mine, Thine.
Let us keep a blessed Lent.