Tuesday, February 08, 2011


  • Luke 9.51 says 'Jesus resolutely set out for Jerusalem.' The better expression for 'resolutely set out for' in this context is to 'fix his heart with determination.' Jesus was ready to travel to Jerusalem which means he was ready to be brutally persecuted and to die on the cross. The cross is a vivid image of how God the Father declined to be with his only Son. The Father is holy, while the Son was carrying the sins of the world. Hanging on the cross, Jesus cried, 'Eli Eli lama sabachthani' which means 'My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?' (Mat 27.46).

  • I do not have any intention to underestimate the physical tortures and pain our Lord Jesus had to undergo, I however feel that the rejection of the Father hurt the Son even more. Many times the interior damage is worst than the exterior injuries. It was in that bitter situation and with heavy heart that Jesus was determined to depart for Jerusalem. Here Jesus performed an extraordinary obedience to the will of his Father over his own comfort. This conclusion finds its affirmation in the garden of Gethsemane: Jesus prayed, 'My Father, if it is not possible for this cup to be taken away unless I drink it, may your will be done' (Mat 26.42); 'Abba Father, everything is possible for you. Take this cup from me. Yet not what I will, but what you will' (Mk 14.36); 'Father, if you are willing, take this cup from me, yet not my will , but yours be done (Lk 22.42).

  • The shortest way from the region of Galilee to Jerusalem was via Samaria. Jesus sent messengers on ahead into a Samaritan village to get things ready for him (Luk 9.52). 'To get things ready for him' means nothing than 'asking permision to pass' the village. Jesus was indeed showing manner and humble gesture by properly requesting the admission to enter through the village. For the second time however, Jesus was rejected; this time he was rejected by the Samaritan leaders of the village.

  • The situation in the border of that Samaritan village was trully tempting for Jesus. First, Jesus might opt to run away from the reality he should have to face in Jerusalem. My wild imagination tells that Jesus might argue to his Father, 'Look I have try my best to obey you, but the toll road to Jerusalem is now blocked!' On this issue, I would say that the will of God is not always smooth, comfy and easy. The will of God requires none but complete obedience. Second, Jesus might opt to zealously fight against the village by delivering his approval to John and James' proposal to destroy the village. The history of Israel tells that the Samaritans were absolutely not friends of the Jews. Devastating a Samaritan village was probably for the Jews more a heroic action rather than an act of immorality. Third and this what was decided by Jesus: he politely yielded to the leaders of the village. Jesus did not emotionally take any revenge to the people of that Samaritan village. On the other hand Jesus and his disciples went to another village. I do not want to make a generalization on the way Jesus acted against oppositions. It seems however, that the wisdom of Jesus was a non retaliation wisdom. We have been trained by so many modern motivators to fight streneously and to not easily give up. On this trend, Jesus might simply comment that yielding or giving up is not always unholy.

  • To sum up our reflection on Jesus' double rejection, it is fair enough to say that obedience and yielding serve as the highpoints of the narrative. Interestingly enough, obedience by definition is an act of yielding. As Jesus' prayer in the garden of Gethsemane reminds us again and again, Jesus gave up his own will, only to obey to his Father's will - at any cost.