The journey ends just so it can begin

Joseph and Mary traveled to Bethlehem to obey the summons to register for the census decreed by Caesar Augustus. Their arrival in David’s town went unnoticed in the crowded village. The trip had to be difficult for an anxious couple, knowing a birth was imminent.

They found room in a stable. With a spread of fresh hay, a young girl lay down to rest. Perhaps with a presence of a local midwife and a birthing stool, Mary prepared for the moment. Her little one entered the world, soon to be hailed by Bethlehem shepherds. Now a new journey would begin.

After the visit of the Magi, Joseph was warned not to return to their home in Nazareth. The fled to Egypt where the treasures of the wise men and the carpentry skills of Joseph would support the family until it was safe to journey home.

We know little of the childhood of Jesus, but it is evident that His life was pointed down a long, demanding road. He faced a journey to the cross. He knew it. He spoke about it. He was under no illusions.

Herod tried to kill Him. Satan tried to deter Him. The crowds tried to sway Him. His family did not understand Him. His disciples failed to get Him. He journeyed on.

Luke records a significant moment along the way: “As the time for His return to heaven, Jesus resolutely set his face toward Jerusalem” (9:51). He knew what awaited Him. It is why He began the journey. He had come to seek and save us. He would complete the journey. From the cross, He cried out in triumph, “It is finished!” (John 19:30).

O come, O come let us adore Him!

This entry was posted in Newsletter Excerpts and tagged , on by .

About Mark Wilbanks

Dr. Wilbanks became Wieuca’s fifth senior pastor in February of 2012. Mark’s father, Oliver Wilbanks, served as Associate Pastor here from 1966 to 1982. Wieuca had a tremendous influence in shaping Mark’s call to ministry during his teenage and young adult years. A graduate of both Southern and New Orleans Baptist Theological seminaries, Mark has served churches in Kentucky, Florida, and Georgia. He pastored Southside Baptist Church in Jacksonville, Florida for 17 years and Bradfordville First Baptist Church in Tallahassee, Florida for ten years. He and his wife, Kim, were married in 1979 and have two sons, Andy and Jordan. Andy is married to Lindsay and they have a son, Cade, a daughter, Ruthie, and welcomed their third child, Samuel, in October.

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