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Summary: Don’t let the past be the focus of your future.

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The Way of Jesus

Luke 9:51-62

June 24, 2007

On Thursday, Deb and I left Luke, Ben and Emma with my parents at the Oregon coast and took off to attend a portion of our denomination’s Annual Meeting in Portland. After the meeting was over, Deb and I got back in the car to head back to our campsite and to pickup Luke, Ben and Emma.

As we were making our way out of the parking lot, Deb was giving me directions because she and many of you ladies had been at the same motel 3 years ago for Triennial. She gave excellent directing and we were on I-5 headed south, headed back into Portland. But we weren’t going fast because it was 5:00 p.m. and Portland traffic on that day anyway looked just like Seattle.

Because we were putzing along, I told Deb to chill out and to read and that I knew where to go and how to get us home.

Wrong.

After a while I realized that I had missed the bypass road that would have taken us around Portland and as a result I was headed right into the city of Portland during rush hour.

Over to my right I saw the big bridge with traffic flowing – the Bypass around Portland.

And there we sat on I-5, bumper to bumper.

Running through most major cities in the United States runs a highway, a major thoroughfare. The thoroughfare, the highway, the interstate is the primary way people travel to, from and through the city Seattle, Portland, San Francisco, Los Angeles have I-5. Omaha has I-80, Chicago-I-90 and I-94, Minneapolis-I-94, Cleveland I-90, Phoenix-I-10. These roads often are the straightest, most direct way from point A to Point B.

But they also are quite busy and in rush hour, as I learned anew, very busy.

So as a result, cities began to construct bypass roads, roads that branch off the main highway and head around the city only to connect back up to the main highway later. The thought being that drivers could avoid all the busyness of going through town and traffic could run more smoothly.

In Jesus’ day there was one main thoroughfare between Galilee in the north and Jerusalem in the south and there was also - bypass.

This bypass was created not to avoid a certain city, but to avoid a whole region, the region of Samaria.

But in our text, Jesus who want to travel from Galilee to Jerusalem will not let himself nor his followers take the bypass.

Luke 9:51-56, p. 1611

The text tells us in v. 51, that Jesus resolutely set out for Jerusalem. And the route he chose to take was through Samaria.

The text tells us in v. 52, that messengers were sent into a Samaritan village to set things ready for him.

When the 12 heard that Jesus was dead set, purposefully, intentionally and resolutely heading South on the I-5 highway of the day from Galilee in the north to Jerusalem in the south and that he wanted to go through Samaria and not take the by-pass that every other Jew would typically take, the 12 must have thought Jesus was out of his mind.

For over 700 years whenever a Jewish person in Galilee (the north) needed to travel south to Jerusalem, the route, the road, the highway they would take intentionally, would be the bypass. Though this route, this road caused their journey to be 3 days longer, they preferred it because it meant they would not have to travel through Samaria he region between Galilee and Jerusalem.


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