Luke Chapter 9 Third Continued
Luke 9:51 “And it came to pass, when the time was come that he should be received up, he stedfastly set his face to go to Jerusalem,”
“He stedfastly set his face to go to Jerusalem”: This begins a major section of Luke’s gospel.
From here (to 19:27), Christ’s face was set toward Jerusalem and Luke’s narrative is a travelogue of that long journey to the cross. This was a dramatic turning point in Christ’s ministry. After this, Galilee was no longer His base of operation.
Although (17:11-37), describes a return visit to Galilee, Luke included everything between this point and the short Galilean sojourn as part of the journey to Jerusalem. We know from a comparison of the gospels that during this period of Christ’s ministry, He made short visits to Jerusalem to celebrate feasts.
Nonetheless, those brief visits were only interludes in this period of ministry that would culminate in a final journey to Jerusalem for the purpose of dying there. Thus, Luke underscored this turning point in Christ’s ministry more dramatically than any of the other gospels, by showing Christ’s determination to complete His mission of going to the cross (see 12:50).
Jesus was not trying to avoid Jerusalem or the cross. He had a job to do, and He was determined to do it, even unto the cost of His life. “Steadfastly” means that He was determined.
Luke 9:52 “And sent messengers before his face: and they went, and entered into a village of the Samaritans, to make ready for him.”
“Samaritans”: These people were descendants of Jewish mixed marriage from the days of captivity. They were rivals of the Jewish nation and had devised their own worship, a hybrid of Judaism and paganism, with a temple of their own on Mt. Gerizim.
They were considered unclean by the Jews and were so hated that most Jewish travelers from Galilee to Judah took the longer route East of the Jordan to avoid traveling through Samaria.
The orthodox Jews of this day really thought of the Samaritans as a very bad race of people who were lost. The Lord did not feel this way and ministered unto them as well. These messengers are probably James, John, and perhaps Peter, the Scripture does not say. We do know that special jobs such as this, He ordinarily sent His three trusted disciples.
Luke 9:53 “And they did not receive him, because his face was as though he would go to Jerusalem.”
“Because his face was as though he would go to Jerusalem”: Traveling to Jerusalem for worship implied rejection of the rituals on Mt. Gerizim and a contempt for Samaritan worship. This was a strong point of contention between Jews and Samaritans (John 4:20-22).
This feud between the Samaritans and orthodox Jews continued and was heated on both sides. We see here, that these Samaritans turned Jesus down for coming to minister, because He was headed for the temple in Jerusalem where they had been forbidden to worship.
Luke 9:54 “And when his disciples James and John saw [this], they said, Lord, wilt thou that we command fire to come down from heaven, and consume them, even as Elijah did?”
“James and John”: Jesus nicknamed these brothers “Boanerges”, Sons of Thunder (Mark 3:17), a fitting title apparently. This was John’s second sin against charity in such a short time. It is interesting to note that several years later, the Apostle John journeyed through Samaria once again with Peter, this time preaching the gospel in Samaritan villages (Acts 8:25).
We see here that James and John (sons of thunder), are insulted for Jesus when these Samaritans refuse Him and His message. They are highly angered that anyone would refuse to listen to Jesus. James and John saw Jesus transfigured and know that He is more than man. Their anger is not for themselves, but for Him.
They are relating these people to the prophets of Baal. These Samaritans were believers in the first 5 books of the Bible. They believed in Jehovah, so they could not be classed with those who worship Baal. Fire of God or wrath comes on those who worship false gods. Elijah came against Baal, not against those who worshipped Jehovah.
Luke 9:55 “But he turned, and rebuked them, and said, Ye know not what manner of spirit ye are of.”
“Rebuked them”: Christ’s response to the Samaritans exemplifies the attitude the church ought to have with regard to all forms of religious persecution. The Samaritans’ worship was pagan at heart, plainly wrong. Compounding that was their intolerance. Yet, the Lord would not retaliate with force against them. Nor did He even revile them verbally.
He had come to save, not to destroy, and so His response was grace rather that destructive fury. Nonetheless, Christ’s words of disapproval here must not be taken as condemnation of Elijah’s actions (in 1 Kings 18:38-40 or 2 Kings 1:10-12).
Elijah was commissioned to a special ministry as prophet in a theocracy, and it was His God-ordained task to confront an evil monarch (Ahab), who was attempting to usurp God’s authority. Elijah was specifically authorized to measure out the reprisal of God’s wrath. Elijah acted with an authority comparable to that of modern civil authorities (Romans 13:4), not in a capacity that parallels that of ministers of the gospel.
Luke 9:56 “For the Son of man is not come to destroy men’s lives, but to save [them]. And they went to another village.”
Jesus is the Savior of the world, not the Destroyer. Jesus healed and delivered, He did not destroy. Jesus had the spirit of love, not hate. Jesus never was pushy. When they refused Him in Samaria, He just went to a Hebrew village close by.
Luke 9:57 “And it came to pass, that, as they went in the way, a certain [man] said unto him, Lord, I will follow thee whithersoever thou goest.”
The zeal of a new convert is beautiful, but sometimes they do not take time to weigh the cost before they jump. This man has received Jesus in his heart and is set on fire to follow Jesus. Let’s see in the next verse how Jesus handles this zeal without offending the man.
Luke 9:58 “And Jesus said unto him, Foxes have holes, and birds of the air [have] nests; but the Son of man hath not where to lay [his] head.”
Here Jesus tells the man of His uncertain future. He says I do not have a headquarters where we rest at night. We are wanderers and might stop anywhere for the night. There are very few creature comforts following Jesus.
Luke 9:59 “And he said unto another, Follow me. But he said, Lord, suffer me first to go and bury my father.”
Jesus will not allow us to look back longingly at our old life once we have put our hand to the plow. This man, unlike the man before, has caught the Lord’s attention; this man is called of God to be a worker for the kingdom message.
Luke 9:60 “Jesus said unto him, Let the dead bury their dead: but go thou and preach the kingdom of God.”
This is a very strange statement to the world, but what Jesus is saying is there is no hope for salvation for someone who is already dead. This man has been called to preach and bring people to a knowledge of God out of darkness and into the Light of life. His call is to make alive, not to bury dead people.
The Lord is telling this man that his duties at home are nothing compared to the call upon his life. The Lord looks upon the heart, and He sees great potential in this man. Time is running out and this man must be about the Father’s business. The difference in this man and the previous man is that Jesus can see inside of each of them.
The first man had a superficial type of belief that would not stand up under hardship. The second man was a set aside, called a man of God with deep roots who Jesus knew would bring many into the kingdom of God.
Luke 9:61 “And another also said, Lord, I will follow thee; but let me first go bid them farewell, which are at home at my house.”
When you follow Jesus, you must turn your back on this old worldly life. Many times, we must give up old friends. Families are often times separated by one person who gets saved. The family does not want to stop drinking, lying, cheating, having parties, and the such.
When you are saved, your way of life changes. Your family and friends, if they are not saved, are still living in sin. The two cannot mix, sinners and the saved have nothing in common. When God calls us, we should not confer with others whether it is right or not. The call is on you, not them. This would trouble Jesus that this man can’t really make up his own mind.
Luke 9:62 “And Jesus said unto him, No man, having put his hand to the plough, and looking back, is fit for the kingdom of God.”
“Looking back”: A plowman looking back cuts a crooked furrow.
This reminds us of Lot’s wife who was warned not to look back when God destroyed Sodom and Gomorrah. God sent an angel to get them out of the city safely. In other words, he delivered them. Lot’s wife looked back longingly at the old life. God cannot use people who will not look ahead with Him.
Abraham never looked back to Ur when God sent him on his journey. In fact, Abraham never built a permanent house again. He dwelt in tents, He moved when God told him. Abraham was looking for a city not made with human hands. He was looking for that everlasting city of God.
Jesus tells this man here, that he is not fit for the kingdom of God, if he has begun to work for God and then turns again to his evil life he had before.
Luke Chapter 9 Third Continued Questions
1. Jesus set his face steadfastly to where?
2. What does “steadfastly” mean here?
3. Where did Jesus send messengers to make ready for Him?
4. Who were these messengers, probably?
5. Who was a religious enemy of these people?
6. What answer did they send Jesus?
7. Which disciples were angered by this?
8. What did they suggest that Jesus do to them?
9. Who was the Old Testament prophet they mentioned as an example for Jesus?
10. What special thing did James and John see that is still fresh in their memory?
11. What part of the Bible do the Samaritans believe in?
12. What was the difference in these people and the ones Elijah called down fire on?
13. What did Jesus do to them for their suggestion?
14. He said ye know not what ________ye are of.
15. What is Jesus to the world, instead of a destroyer?
16. What two things did Jesus do instead of destroy?
17. When they refused Him in Samaria, what did He do?
18. The man that said, “I will follow thee whithersoever thou goest” was showing what?
19. How did Jesus discourage him from following without hurting his feelings?
20. Jesus turns to another and says what?
21. What did the man reply to Jesus?
22. Jesus tells him to let the ______ bury the _______.
23. What job did Jesus send him to do?
24. In verse 61, what did the man want to do first before he follows Jesus?
25. Who are some of the people we sometimes lose when we follow Jesus?
26. Why can’t you go back and fellowship with them?
27. What do sinners and the saved have in common?
28. Jesus said no man was fit for the kingdom if he did what?
29. Whose wife looked back and turned to a pillar of salt?
30. Who left his homeland looking for a city which was not made with human hands?
31. What did he dwell in?