One of the easiest things for me to talk about is “focus” and yet it is the hardest thing for me to do.  I start out with a determination to get a task done and not be distracted by competing or external events.  I start out with determination to study the Scriptures and not be distracted.  I start out with a determination to pray and not get distracted.  I start out with a determination to be a Christian husband, father, brother and friend and not get distracted.  Yet, the old Adam in me works to shift my focus from these things to competing or external things, driving me to distraction.  I fall short of the mark because my focus drifts from the more important to the least important things.  From others to myself.  From God to myself.  Then I’m further distracted by the things I should have done that remain undone or incomplete.  Then I hear the Lenten Midweek sermons with God’s truth and He puts all things back in the proper focus:  Jesus.


As we sojourn on our 2021 Lenten exodus with Jesus and His disciples we are inclined to focus on the shortcomings of the disciples.  The drama that results from their lack of focus:

+ self-importance;

+ a theology of glory;

+ physical and spiritual shortcomings;

+ betrayal;

+ denial;

+ change;

+ self-serving love;

+ self-consuming grief and shame;

+ and a poor memory.

If we focus on the failures of others we miss something critical!  Even if we were to focus on our own shortcomings we would miss the one critical thing!


Jesus is focused on the one critical thing:  His Father’s will to save man from sin, death and the power of the devil.  Let us keep our eyes on One whose focus is perfect and holy: Jesus.  Though the very glory of God He comes to His creation in humility, taking on all the weaknesses found in the human body.  He is true God and true Man – divinity veiled in human flesh.  Jesus, though innocent, will take upon Himself the full divine wrath for our sin.  He struggles with and overcomes the weight of His divine appointment without rest or sleep.  Jesus remains steadfast and faithful to God and man amidst the betrayal or abandonment of His disciples.  Christ Jesus continues to love and justify those who suffer the agony of failure and experience self-condemnation.  Immanuel refuses to deny either God or His people even when all have turned their backs on Him.  The Lamb of God brings change to a world that is incapable of either recognizing their need for change or accomplishing it.  The King of kings offers the love of God and life to those who sit at His feet and then betray Him to their enemies.  The Prince of Peace comes to His people amidst suffering and death with true comfort and eternal life.  The God who never even forgets one of His promises gives His people His Spirit that they would remember, believe and receive the peace, joy and comfort found only in His promises:  Jesus.


My brothers and sisters in Christ, God leads us on our 2028 Lenten exodus, calling us to focus not on the shortcomings of others but the steadfastness and love of His only begotten Son.  God gives us His Word that, by hearing it, His Spirit gives us both the will and desire to focus on what is critical:  Jesus Christ.  Jesus upholds us with His mighty arm and outstretched hand – hands of flesh and blood that were nailed to the cross and still bear the scars of His redeeming love.  Keep your eyes on the love of God: Jesus Christ, our Lord and Savior!