Journey With Jesus
“Jesus resolutely set out for Jerusalem. And he…went into a Samaritan village…but the people there did not welcome him, because he was heading for Jerusalem. When the disciples James and John saw this, they asked, ‘Lord, do you want us to call fire down from heaven to destroy them?’ But Jesus…rebuked them.”
Luke 9:51-55 (NIV)
Jesus had a sense of purpose about the journey he was on. All kinds of things happened as he approached Jerusalem, but nothing would deter him in his resolve to fulfil God’s gracious purpose for humanity.
Jesus wanted to go through a Samaritan village on the way, but, when the villagers learnt that he was set on going to Jerusalem, they did not welcome him or support him. This was a decision based on arguments over patterns of worship. James and John reacted by seeking to destroy the Samaritans, but Jesus rebuked them.
Spiritually speaking, we are all on a journey with Jesus. It’s his destination and he is leading us and, even though all manner of random events happen to us as we journey with him, Jesus is there continually with us to strengthen our resolve.
I wonder how we feel about those who choose not to travel with us, or who resist us on our journey, or who complain as they go, as some of the disciples themselves did as they travelled with Jesus? Are we like James and John, and we ask for permission to remove them from the scene? The answer Jesus gave was one of rebuke. He had just explained to the disciples a lesson about receiving one another. He pointed to a child, someone who did not know much about Christ’s journey and teachings, and told them, “whoever receives this child in my name receives me” (Luke 9:48). Christ’s journey is about receiving others, even those with little understanding or who, like the Samaritans, do not accept the journey of Jesus. That is why Jesus rebuked James and John. Jesus’ journey is about receiving others, including those who would reject us.
Let’s journey with Jesus, and receive others.
Father, thank you that through your eternal Spirit we journey with Jesus every day. Help me, please, to be led by his grace, and to receive others just as Jesus has received me. In Jesus’ name.
Study by James Henderson
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