(Through Samaria. Probably September, a.d.29.)
^C Luke IX.51-56; ^D John VII.10.
^d 10 But when his brethren were gone up unto the feasts, then went he also up, not publicly, but as it were in secret. [This section follows immediately after the preceding. The secrecy of this journey consists in the fact that Jesus did not join the caravans or pilgrim bands, and that he did not follow the usual Peræan route, but went directly through Samaria.] ^c 51 And it came to pass, when the days were well-nigh come that he should be received up, he steadfastly set his face to go to Jerusalem, 52 and sent messengers before his face: and they went, and entered into a village of the Samaritans, to make ready for him. [Taken in its strictest sense, the expression |taken up| refers to our Lord's ascension, but it is here used to embrace his entire passion. Though our Lord's death was still six months distant, his going to Jerusalem is described as attended with a special effort, because from that time forth Jerusalem was to occupy the position of headquarters, as Capernaum had done, and his withdrawals and returns would be with regard to it. The presence of the twelve alone is sufficient to account for the messengers. He did not wish to overtax the fickle hospitality of the Samaritans by coming unannounced.] 53 And they did not receive him, because his face was as though he were going to Jerusalem. [Had Jesus come among them on a missionary tour he would doubtless have been received. But when he came as a Jew passing through to Jerusalem, and using their highway as a convenience, they rejected him.] 54 And when his disciples James and John saw this, they said, Lord, wilt thou that we bid fire to come down from heaven, and consume them? 55 But he turned, and rebuked them, 56 And they went to another village. [Refusing to receive a religious teacher was considered a rejection of his claim. This rejection roused the ire of the two sons of thunder and prompted them to suggest that the example of Elijah be followed ( II. Kings i.9-12), but Jesus was a Saviour and not a destroyer, so he passed on to another village. The conduct of John in after years contrasts sharply with the wish which he here expressed -- Acts viii.14-25.]