Summary: Jesus’ call is to complete discipleship. Total love. Abandoning ourselves to Him. No half heartedness, no “yes, but first…”, no giving Jesus just a piece of us. He wants it all, because it is all broken and it all needs to be healed, and then He gives
Joining the Journey To Jerusalem: Breaking Boundaries
Luke 9:51-63 May 24, 2009
Journey… Bob Dylan asks “How many roads must a man walk down, before you can call him a man”? Tom Cochrane says, “Life is a Highway”. Robert Frost said that “two roads diverged in a wood…” We seem to relate to the idea of life like a journey, with its ups and downs, peaks and valleys, times when we feel like we are flying through the air and other times when we feel stuck in the muck.
It’s the same image that Luke picks up as he continues to tell the story of Jesus. We’ve been walking alongside Jesus, and thus far all of Jesus’ work and teaching and miracles have been in the area of Galilee. But in Luke 9:51, that all changes as Jesus’ journey takes a new direction and He starts down the road to Jerusalem, the center of the nation of Israel, where the political and religious and cultural power is all centralized. Now we have seen thus far that Jesus’ journey has continually challenged, upset, reversed, and then recreated all of the existing structures and priorities, but thus far it has been in this little province far from the power center. What might happen when Jesus takes this message into the heart of the nation?
The more immediate question, to which Luke now turns our attention, is to what happens “along the way”. The destination is in view, we’ll see Jesus’ determination, but there is still a lot of ministry and teaching that will happen “along the way.” Let’s read the rest of Luke 9.
51 As the time drew near for him to ascend to heaven, Jesus resolutely set out for Jerusalem. 52 He sent messengers ahead to a Samaritan village to prepare for his arrival. 53 But the people of the village did not welcome Jesus because he was on his way to Jerusalem. 54 When James and John saw this, they said to Jesus, “Lord, should we call down fire from heaven to burn them up?” 55 But Jesus turned and rebuked them. 56 So they went on to another village.
57 As they were walking along, someone said to Jesus, “I will follow you wherever you go.” 58 But Jesus replied, “Foxes have dens to live in, and birds have nests, but the Son of Man has no place even to lay his head.”
59 He said to another person, “Come, follow me.” The man agreed, but he said, Lord, first let me return home and bury my father.” 60 But Jesus told him, “Let the spiritually dead bury their own dead! Your duty is to go and preach about the Kingdom of God.”
61 Another said, “Yes, Lord, I will follow you, but first let me say good-bye to my family.” 62 But Jesus told him, “Anyone who puts a hand to the plow and then looks back is not fit for the Kingdom of God.”
Destroying the Opposition:
Verse 51 begins the section by showing Jesus in a very determined light – He “resolutely set out for Jerusalem”. Other translations put it this way – “He set his face towards Jerusalem”. He decided, resolved to go, and was determined. He knew where He needed to go next, and when the time was right He went. The rest of Luke are the stories of what happens on the journey, and what happens when Jesus arrives.