LUKE describes Jesus’ life on earth as one big journey—starting in Nazareth and always heading to Jerusalem. Indeed, his entire gospel record is made up of journeys Jesus made from Nazareth to the temple of God in Jerusalem. Luke recounts not just one, two or three such journeys, but four, Andrew Walker explained recently.

In Luke 2 Mary takes Jesus to the temple, to present him to his true Father. Twelve years later Jesus again travels to Jerusalem, and when his parents can’t find him on the way back to Nazareth, where do they find him? in the temple, “my father’s house.”

Aged 30 Jesus leaves Nazareth again for Jerusalem. He is baptised and, in a departure from Matthew’s ordering of his temptations, Luke lists Jesus’ temptations as hunger, ruling the world and saving his life. It reflects Jesus thinking of his own temporal needs, his transfiguration on the mountain and his looming crucifixion.

Jesus goes on to preach in Nazareth, but is rejected. In Luke 9 a turning point comes, as Jesus is transfigured and never returns to Nazareth again, setting his face to going to Jerusalem.

In Luke 19 he reaches Jerusalem, weeping in verse 31, because this is where he has been coming to all his life and he will never leave it again.

Luke’s gospel conveys to us the purpose of Jesus’ life. Wherever he was, he was moving closer to Jerusalem, to the cross, to his resurrection. His life is a journey from the breast of Mary to the bosom of his Father.

But is it just about Jesus? Other gospels tell how the risen Jesus meets the disciples at Galilee. Luke says they were all at Jerusalem, where Jesus instructed them to stay until they receive the Spirit. His gospel ends with the disciples at the temple, as it started with Simeon at the temple.

The disciples were on the same journey as Jesus—heading to God’s temple. It is what God wants our lives to be about too. Every day we are setting out once more towards God’s Kingdom.