top of page

Luke 9:51-62

Luke 9:51-62 When the days drew near for him to be taken up, he set his face to go to Jerusalem. And he sent messengers ahead of him. On their way they entered a village of the Samaritans to make ready for him; but they did not receive him, because his face was set toward Jerusalem. When his disciples James and John saw it, they said, "Lord, do you want us to command fire to come down from heaven and consume them?" But he turned and rebuked them. Then they went on to another village. As they were going along the road, someone said to him, "I will follow you wherever you go." And Jesus said to him, "Foxes have holes, and birds of the air have nests; but the Son of Man has nowhere to lay his head." To another he said, "Follow me." But he said, "Lord, first let me go and bury my father." But Jesus said to him, "Let the dead bury their own dead; but as for you, go and proclaim the kingdom of God." Another said, "I will follow you, Lord; but let me first say farewell to those at my home." Jesus said to him, "No one who puts a hand to the plow and looks back is fit for the kingdom of God."

Skilled people managers from Harvard Business Review have insight into achieving greatness. They impress a constant push beyond present abilities and level of comfort. They encourage seeking constructive, often painful, feedback. To become an expert requires intentional practice, openness, and discomfort. [1]

In Until the Wheels Fall Off, skateboarder Tony Hawk shares a story of perfecting passion. The documentary captures those devoting energy to creating and achieving new skateboard tricks. They inspire through pain. The film shows the devotion of athletes to crafting their skills. The grit provokes and compels those who sit and watch. Skaters spark curiosity about the potential for people to live into human capacity.

Freestyle skater Rodney Mullen captures the heart of the film in a cameo ( below). His life smacks of meaning, purpose, and wild courage. An interior reality influences his outward expression with artful athleticism. Mullen leaves viewers in awe about more than what he can do on a skateboard. Rodney Mullen impresses as a person.

Watch Mullen Cameo Here: [2]

Luke tells of Jesus who confronts fate without wavering. Jesus refused distraction from his intention. Only those with postures bent on preventing progress met his resistance. Jesus comes across a bit harsh yet he is set on confronting whatever lies ahead of him. Determination led him forward as he extended invitations to others to follow along. Jesus aspired to complete trust and acceptance. From the vantage point of today, we know what Jerusalem offered Jesus. Jesus was a dead man walking; headed toward his brutal end.

Man’s Search for Meaning author Viktor Frankel knows about enduring pain. Through his experience as a Nazi captive Frankel found it is possible to suffer in an honorable way. He believed this way lives within a person and consists of contemplating an image of love. This way leads to fulfillment because deepest meaning lies within the inner self.[3] Freedom comes from engaging imagination and memory; seeing beauty in harsh life circumstances. Frankel’s wisdom makes readers curious about the possibilities within the inner life. What might we discover about ourselves? What can we do if we risk tapping into our interior landscape?

There is an inspired manifesto of the brave and broken hearted found at the end of Brene Brown’s Rising Strong (Brown, 267). It declares the aim of those who choose to be vulnerable and honest to themselves, to others, and to God. These are people who wield the superpower of showing up when life gets hard.

“We craft love from heartbreak,

Compassion from shame,

Grace from disappointment,

Courage from failure.

Showing up is our power.” [4]

This is what we see in Jesus bound for Jerusalem. No matter what we face today we can find strength within ourselves and others. Are you ready to discover what you’re made of? Are you open to see the creative potential of another?

[1] Ericsonn, K. Anders. Prietula, Michael J. Cokely, Edward T. The Making of An Expert. Harvard Business Review. 2007.

[2] Hawk, Tony. Tony Hawk: Until The Wheels Fall Off. HBO. 2022

[3] Frankel, Viktor E. Man’s Search for Meaning. Beacon Press, Boston, MA. 1959.

[4] Brown, Brene. Rising Strong: How the Ability to Reset Transforms the Way we Live, Love, Parent and Lead. Penguin Random House, New York, NY. 2017.