“The Lord God has opened My ear; and I was not rebellious, nor did I turn away. I gave My back to those who struck Me, and My cheek to those who plucked out the beard; I did not hide My face from shame and spitting. For the Lord God will help Me; therefore I will not be disgraced; therefore I have set My face like a flint; and I know that I will not be ashamed.” Isaiah 50:5-7. “Now it came to pass, when the time had come for Him to be received up, that He steadfastly set His face to go to Jerusalem,” Luke 9:51 (NKJV) There is much to be learned from these two passages about Jesus’ last days on earth; His determination to “finish well” so to speak’ speaks volumes about His character, integrity, and determination. In the Isaiah passage (which is a prophetic passage about Jesus as Messiah)the use of the Hebrew word for flint indicates a rock, a very hard stone; Jesus had set His face like flint, like a rock that could not be changed. In Luke’s passage (the fulfillment of Isaiah 50) Dr. Luke describes Jesus’ face as being set steadfastly to go to Jerusalem. In both of these accounts we see a Jesus Who is dedicated completely to achieving His purpose; He has surrendered to go to Jerusalem and even His countenance reflects the level of commitment He has for completing this appointment. In doing so Jesus gives us an example of how we should live our lives. He illustrates what true commitment is like as He chooses the “best” over what is convenient; taking the high road even when the low road may be more comfortable and less taxing.
Contrast His determination with that of most of today’s society, (Churched and un-churched alike), there is an appalling lack of integrity and commitment in the world today; many will agree to some idea or mission, only to turn away for a “better offer”, or because fulfilling their commitment would cause some hardship; “it was too cold, raining, too hot, too far, too late, too early, we had company”, any excuse will do when we don’t want to follow through on a promise. Jesus (fully God and fully man), was not turned from His purpose even though it was not something that He wanted to do. In the garden of Gethsemane Jesus prayed 3 times that He might avoid the cross; each time He chose the high road, the right road of commitment as He surrendered His will to that of His Father. Later when one of Jesus’ followers (Peter) cut off the ear of the High Priest’s servant Jesus said, “Or do you think that I cannot now pray to My Father, and He will provide Me with more than twelve legions of angels?” Matthew 26:53. Indicating that He still did not have to submit to the Crucifixion; it was within His power to call for the legions of angels to rescue Him; He chose not to and instead chose to honor His surrender to His Father.
We should remember Jesus’ example not only in the bigger issues, but in the small things as well; our word should be our bond, we should be men and women of integrity who strive to always do the right thing, even when it is not convenient.