Summary: Following Jesus is not easy
18. Who is Jesus?
December 19th, 2010
The Cost of Discipleship
Jesus has been traveling around Galilee preaching, healing, casting out demons, and performing many miracles. He has dedicated Himself to doing the work of God and He has often done so without sleep or a proper meal. For three years He has been traveling from town to town preaching about the kingdom of God and preparing people’s hearts for what was to come. He has been lifting the curtain between our world and the kingdom of God so that we will be able to enter in to life through Him.
Now in Luke 9:51 we reach a turning point in our text. The stage is set and the hero’s journey begins. It is time for Jesus to do what He came to earth to do. This is the transition of Jesus ministry from preparation to determination. Where Jesus sets His eyes on the destination and begins the journey to the cross.
Lk 9:51 As the time approached for him to be taken up to heaven, Jesus resolutely set out for Jerusalem.
The Gospel of Luke focuses on the city of Jerusalem. It is the capital city of the people of God and ultimately the location where Jesus work of salvation will come to fruition. It is an impressive city built on a hill and carved out of stone. It is home to around 100,000 people which is especially impressive when you consider the towns that Jesus has been traveling to were around 40-50 people. This city is extremely important to the Jews. This is their holy city which housed the temple of God which is where God’s presence was said to rest. Jerusalem is an important city for it is here that God’s redemptive work is done. For through Jesus death and resurrection, life would be offered not just to the Jews but to all who believe.
Jesus has been traveling around ministering to people in Galilee. Now He is determined to go to Jerusalem where ultimately He will be crucified. We get nervous going on rollercoaster or going to the dentist but Jesus bravely charges towards His own agonizing death. Jesus came as a man to die as a sacrifice for our sins so that we could have life with God. His life is a testament to the love that God has for us. That God would send His only Son to suffer and die so that we could be saved from our sins. Jesus ministry is coming to a close and now it is time for Jesus to become the savior of the world and to complete the mission God has given Him.
This is the turning point in the Gospel where Jesus marches to Jerusalem to face the cross. He has come to do away with that sin on the cross so that we can have life. The coming months are Jesus journey to Jerusalem. He doesn’t arrive in Jerusalem until Luke 19 because along the way He is stopping to teach and to heal people. Even on the road to His death Jesus is not preoccupied with His own situation. Even His pending death does not deter Jesus from loving others.
Lk 9:52 And he sent messengers on ahead, who went into a Samaritan village to get things ready for him; Lk 9:53 but the people there did not welcome him, because he was heading for Jerusalem. Lk 9:54 When the disciples James and John saw this, they asked, “Lord, do you want us to call fire down from heaven to destroy them ?” Lk 9:55 But Jesus turned and rebuked them, Lk 9:56 and they went to another village.
Jesus is traveling from Capernaum in the North to Jerusalem in the South. He has to travel from the region of Galilee to Judea. Doing so would require passing through Samaria. Samaritans were interesting people. They had once been Jewish but then had intermarried with pagans. As a result they were rejected by the Jews. So they decided to reject the Jews right back. “Fine, you wont let us play with you anymore, we make up our own game.” So they built their own temple, picked out their own holy mountain, followed their own teachers, and even came up with their own bible and religion. Jews hated Samaritans and didn’t really know what to do with them. They were like Palestine’s version of the Christian Scientist. They aren’t really Christians but they aren’t really scientists either. So no body really knows what to do with these people. These two groups did not get along at all. They had a bloods vs. crips sort of relationship. For one side to travel into the territory of the other might result in a walk by stoning. Normal Jews would walk around Samaria. Jesus walks right through it.