Face Toward Jerusalem, Luke 9:51

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Hard Verses Episode 14: Face toward Jerusalem, Luke 9:51

Hard verses is a podcast not afraid to take on the harder verses in the Bible.  Each week we find difficult verses in God’s word.

Wanted to give props to Dr. Ed Gallagher for directing my mind to the verse because of his class. Limited Resource Dynamics in Ancient Israel.

The Problem.

Luk 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, Luk 9:52  And sent messengers before his face: and they went, and entered into a village of the Samaritans, to make ready for him. Luk 9:53  And they did not receive him, because his face was as though he would go to Jerusalem.

What was going on here?

What does it mean that He “stedfastly set His face to go to Jerusalem?”

He sent messengers to Samaria and did not receive Him, because His face was though he would go to Jerusalem????  All Jews were supposed to go to Jerusalem for three feast days, so why are the Samaritans made at Him now?

The Solution.

Luk 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, Luk 9:52  And sent messengers before his face: and they went, and entered into a village of the Samaritans, to make ready for him. Luk 9:53  And they did not receive him, because his face was as though he would go to Jerusalem. Luk 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 Elias did?

  1. What does it mean that He “steadfastly set His face to go to Jerusalem?”

He resolved Himself to go to His death.

  1. They rejected Him because His face was though He would go to Jerusalem.

The Samaritans knew where He was going.  The route (Josephus, Antiquities, 20.6.1) was that of one going to the Temple.

The Samaritans had their own temple in Mt.Gerizim.  They thought that was the God ordained location.  They had Biblical reasons for that.

Deu 11:29  And it shall come to pass, when the LORD thy God hath brought thee in unto the land whither thou goest to possess it, that thou shalt put the blessing upon mount Gerizim, and the curse upon mount Ebal.

What caused even more division is the destruction of the temple at Mt. Gerizim.

After the end of the Babylonian Captivity, a large schism between the Samaritans and Judaism developed, with the Samaritans, but not the Jews, regarding Mount Gerizim as theholy place chosen by God.[3] Subsequently, in the Persian Period, the Samaritans built a temple there probably in the middle of 5th century BCE.,[11] arguing that this was the real location of the Israelite temple which had been destroyed by Nebuchadnezzar,[26]

The religious tension between the Jews and the Samaritans led to the temple on Gerizim being destroyed by either John Hyrcanus in the 2nd century BCE (according to Josephus)[27] or by Simeon the Just (according to the Talmud). The date of the Samaritan temple destruction, the 21st of Kislev, became a holiday for the Jews during which it is forbidden to eulogize the dead.[28] However, the mountain evidently continued to be the holy place of the Samaritans, as it is mentioned as such by the Gospel of John[29] and coins produced by a Roman mint situated in Nablus included within their design a depiction of the temple; surviving coins from this mint, dated to 138–161 CE, show a huge temple complex, statues, and a substantive staircase leading from Nablus to the temple itself.[30]

(wiki page—sorry scholars).

Joh 4:19  The woman saith unto him, Sir, I perceive that thou art a prophet. Joh 4:20  Our fathers worshipped in this mountain; and ye say, that in Jerusalem is the place where men ought to worship. Joh 4:21  Jesus saith unto her, Woman, believe me, the hour cometh, when ye shall neither in this mountain, nor yet at Jerusalem, worship the Father. Joh 4:22  Ye worship ye know not what: we know what we worship: for salvation is of the Jews. Joh 4:23  But the hour cometh, and now is, when the true worshippers shall worship the Father in spirit and in truth: for the Father seeketh such to worship him. Joh 4:24  God is a Spirit: and they that worship him must worship him in spirit and in truth.

  • There was a true debate about where the temple should be.
  • Jesus set her straight and told her how it was going to be.

Back to the original questions.

  1. What does it mean that He “stedfastly set His face to go to Jerusalem?”
  2. He sent messengers to Samaria and did not receive Him, because His face was though he would go to Jerusalem???? All Jews were supposed to go to Jerusalem for three feast days, so why are the Samaritans made at Him now?

 

The lesson for us today.

As we learn the word are we willing to change?

Tools I Used

Barnes, Pulpit, Josephus, TSK, Wikipedia

 

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