During the last week of Jesus’s life, he spent his days teaching. He was in Jerusalem, the center of his religion. He was in the temple, the heart of his religion. He was being debated by the main religious and political parties every day.
During that week, he would be talking with normal people who had come to Jerusalem to pray and worship. And leaders of various groups would walk up with their followers and ask questions.
Some of the questions were a little silly, some of the questions were essential. But all of the questions were intended to trap Jesus into saying something foolish, something so extreme that everyone around would see how dangerous he was.
Instead, every answer was so brilliant that the normal people realized how foolish the leaders were, compared to Jesus. By the end of the week, each group quit talking, and started plotting. Because when you have so much of your life tied up in something that is wrong, it’s easier for some people to kill the person who is right than it is to change yourself.
That’s why emotions get so high sometimes. We know that we are the ones who need to change, but we’d rather not.
But here’s what’s remarkable about Jesus, in his humanness.
Every day during the last week of his life, he walked to Jerusalem from Bethany. He was in sight of where his last night in the garden of Gethsemane would be. He was in sight of where the betrayal by Judas would happen. He was in sight of where the trial would be, where the crucifixion would be.
You know how hard it is to walk past places were you’ve been hurt? Every day for his last week, Jesus walked past the places where he was GOING to be hurt. Advanced reminders.
How did he get up and walk to Jerusalem every day, into the faces of the people that hated him most, that he loved most?
Because every day he asked himself a question: What’s the greatest commandment?