July 28, 2014
From the desk of Dr. A.J. Higgins
The Savior in Samaria
“And sent messengers before His face; and they went and
entered into a village of the Samaritans” (Luke 9:52)
The Savior’s Resolve
Luke 9:51 marks the beginning of a journey that Luke will detail. It is the final journey to Jerusalem. He is not concerned with chronological order as much as he is with a moral order. This can be seen by comparing Luke’s account with Matthew and Mark.
Luke begins this final, fateful journey from Galilee to Jerusalem with the Lord coming to a village of the Samaritans.
His “face was set,” we are told, to go to Jerusalem. He went knowing all that awaited Him. What must the thoughts of His heart have been? What sorrow must have filled His heart knowing, as He did, what Calvary would cost the Godhead? He had traveled to that city often. But this last journey was going to end as no other had ended – with a cross.
It was with holy resolve and total consecration that He went. Isaiah tells us that the words of the Perfect Servant were: “I set My face like a flint . Behold the Lord God will help Me” (Isa 50:7, 8). He went with total consecration, but also with absolute confidence.
The Samaritan’s Rejection
As love filled His heart, sectarian bitterness marked the Samaritans. It was obvious to them that the destination of the Lord Jesus was Jerusalem and not Samaria. As a result, they did not welcome Him into their village. The source of all blessing for humanity was in their midst, yet they chose to reject Him.
The Disciples Rashness
Zealous for their Lord, James and John are ready to call down fire from heaven upon the village. The Lord had said earlier in regard to their movements among Israel, “Whosoever will not receive you, when ye go out of that city, shake off the very dust from your feet for a testimony against them” (v 5).
The faith of the two disciples should not be discounted: they felt they could call down fire as did Elijah. But their faith was linked with faulty thinking. They were thinking as men; the Lord Jesus was above self-vindication or petty sectarian politics. He was going to Jerusalem where His own nation would not only reject Him, but crucify Him. How could less privileged Samaritans be held more accountable than the privileged nation? He would show grace and long-suffering.
The Savior’s Recourse
Undeterred by the rejection of the village or by the rashness of the disciples, the Lord explained to them that He had come to save, not destroy life (v 56). Blessing may not be enjoyed; but judgment will be withheld. Was He looking forward to Acts 8:6?
He moved in grace and compassion despite the great burden on His own heart; and He went to another village.