Life-Study of Lukeby Witness Lee
Printed Copy: Available Online from Living Stream Ministry
Printed Copy: Available Online from Living Stream Ministry
According to the Gospel of Luke, the Man-Savior’s ministry on earth was in two sections. The first section was accomplished in Galilee (4:14—9:50). This section concludes with the Lord’s unveiling His death the second time and with a word that exposes the naturalness of His disciples. The second section of the Man-Savior’s ministry takes place on the way from Galilee to Jerusalem (9:51—19:27). The first section of His ministry covered twenty-six matters. As we shall see, thirty-seven matters are covered in the second section. The first matter in this section is the Man-Savior’s being rejected by the Samaritans (9:51-56).
Luke 9:51 says, “And it came about, when the days were being fulfilled for His being taken up, that He steadfastly set His face to go to Jerusalem.” The Man-Savior had been ministering for over three years in the despised region of Galilee, far from the holy temple and the holy city, the place where He must die for the accomplishment of God’s eternal plan. As the Lamb of God (John 1:29), it was necessary for the Lord to be offered to God at Mount Moriah, which is Mount Zion, where Abraham offered Isaac and enjoyed God’s provision of a ram as a substitute for his son (Gen. 22:2, 9-14) and where the temple was built in Jerusalem (2 Chron. 3:1). It must be there that He would be delivered, according to the counsel determined by the Trinity of the Godhead (Acts 2:23), to the Jewish leaders (Mark 9:31; 10:33), and there be rejected by them as the builders of God’s building (Acts 4:11). It should also be there that He would be crucified according to the Roman style of punishment (John 18:31-32; 19:6, 14-15) to fulfill the type concerning the kind of death He would die (Num. 21:8-9; John 3:14). Moreover, that very year was the year that Messiah (Christ) should be cut off (killed) according to Daniel’s prophecy (Dan. 9:24-26). Furthermore, as the Passover Lamb (1 Cor. 5:7) He must be killed in the month of the Passover (Exo. 12:1-11). Hence, He must go to Jerusalem (Mark 10:33; 11:1, 11, 15, 27; John 12:12) before the Passover (John 12:1; Mark 14:1), so that He might die there on the day of the Passover (Mark 14:12-17; John 18:28) at both the place and the time foreordained by God.
We have pointed out that, according to Luke 9:51, the Lord “steadfastly set His face to go to Jerusalem.” Verses 52 and 53 say, “And He sent messengers before His face. And having gone, they entered into a village of the Samaritans to prepare for Him. And they did not receive Him, because He was going with His face toward Jerusalem.” Here we see that the Man-Savior was rejected by the Samaritans.
There was no way the Lord Jesus could go from Galilee to Jerusalem without passing through Samaria. The Samaritans were part Gentile and part Jewish. The Jews absolutely rejected them and refused to consider them part of the holy people. The Samaritans were offended by this and did not think well regarding the Jews. Realizing the situation, the Lord knew that it was difficult for Him and those with Him to pass through Samaria. More than seventy others were journeying with Him. This is proved by the fact that in 10:1 He “appointed seventy others, and sent them two by two before His face into every city and place where He Himself was about to come” (10:1).
Since the Lord sent out these seventy, it may have been that even more were following Him on the way through Samaria to Jerusalem.
In 9:52 the Lord sent messengers before Him. These messengers entered into a village of the Samaritans to prepare for the Lord. However, the Samaritans would not receive Him. Because the Lord was rejected by the Samaritans, there was no way for Him and His followers to stay in that village. It was necessary for them to go to some other village.
Seeing that the Samaritans had rejected the Man-Savior, “the disciples, James and John, said, Lord, do You want us to tell fire to come down from heaven and consume them?” (v. 54). Some manuscripts add to this verse the words “as also Elijah did.” The Lord turned to these disciples and rebuked them. It seems that the Lord might have been telling them, “Don’t you know that we are proclaiming the jubilee? The jubilee is not a matter of calling down fire to consume people. Instead of telling fire to come down from heaven, we are bringing peace to others.”
In Mark 3:17 the Lord gave to John and James “the name, Boanerges, which is, sons of thunder.” “Boanerges” comes from Aramaic. This name was added to James and John because of their impetuosity. Their impetuous word in Luke 9:54 was contrary to the virtue and morality of the Savior whom they accompanied.
John, one of the sons of thunder, also spoke an impetuous word in Luke 9:49: “Master, we saw someone casting out demons in Your name, and we forbade him, because he does not follow with us.” This impetuous action on the part of John was also contrary to the virtue of the Man-Savior. John’s attitude was like that of Joshua in Numbers 11:28.
Luke 9:55 says, “But He turned and rebuked them.” The following doubtful reading appears in a few manuscripts: “and said, You do not know what kind of spirit you are of.” This word, which shows the high morality of the Man-Savior, is found only in Luke.
Luke 9:56 says simply, “And they went into another village.” A few manuscripts add this doubtful reading at the end of verse 56: “For the Son of Man did not come to destroy men’s lives, but to save them.”
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