Scripture: Luke 13:22, 31-35
Most of us are familiar with the Robert Frost poem, "The Road Not Taken." It ends with the poignant phrase,
Two roads diverged in a wood, and I--
I took the one less traveled by,
And that has made all the difference
In the Church, this coming Sunday (March 20) is observed as Palm Sunday. It is the day we remember Jesus' entrance into Jerusalem at the start of what we now call Holy Week, the last week of Jesus' earthly life.
Throughout this Lenten season, my sermons have focused on the topic of "journeys." In the gospel of Luke, Jesus makes very clear to his disciples where he is headed (Jerusalem) and what will happen when he gets there (crucifixion). The writing is on the wall. Even a group of Pharisees (pretty unlikely allies) remind Jesus that Jerusalem is a dangerous place for him to frequent. If he’s wise, he’ll reverse course.
But Jesus forges ahead. He forges ahead because he has a clear understanding of the work God has called him to do. His ministry began in the 4th chapter of Luke when he gave a sermon in his hometown synagogue at Nazareth. Reading from the prophet Isaiah, he gave witness to God's call on his life. Those words from Isaiah were his personal mission statement and he never wavered in his mission. From the start Jesus encountered resistant. But he still chose to travel to Jerusalem. He still chose to take the road that led him toward death because he knew that it was also the road that would lead to our salvation.
Yogi Berra was famous for saying, “When you come to the fork in the road, take it.” But for most of us, the question would still remain, “which side of the fork should we take?” Our life’s journeys may not be as clear and discernible as we would like them to be. And we may struggle to find our way along life’s path. But, thanks be to God that Jesus knew the path his life should take and he was committed to the journey. He did not take the easy road or the coward’s way out. He gave his life for us. He took the “road less traveled by. And that has made all the difference” for us.