‘He reminded himself that there were no rules to his walk. He had been guilty once or twice of believing he understood, only to discover he did not. Maybe it was the same with the pilgrims? Maybe they were the next part of the journey? There were times, he saw, when not knowing was the biggest truth & you had to stay with that.’ (p263)
There is a way of talking about Jesus in Holy Week that makes him some kind of religious robot. He knew what he had to do; knew the outcome and did it- therefore we must do the same.
Leaving aside the issue of the overuse of the words ‘must’, ‘ought’, ‘should or ‘try’, which tend to say more to me about a ‘will to power’ than good preaching, this reading seems to take all the tension out of Holy Week. Jesus becomes less than human, with nothing to say to ordinary people.
So here is a thought & it is not meant to be heretical (and I distrust those who brandish that word to attack those they disagree with): maybe Jesus didn’t fully know the outcome. If he was human as well as God, maybe all he knew: at least initially was how to be faithful and walk a path that would lead to confrontation. He trusted God; sensed that His way was to go to Jerusalem & announce who he was, but the ending was not fully known to him.
There are shed loads of books about this trying to define this much better than I ever can, but I like the sense of tension, of staying in the story. I hope I can walk it this week & find parallels for most of us who seek to be faithful but remain not knowing and often confused.