Wednesday, December 3, 2014

Refusing Jesus

and He sent messengers on ahead of Him, and they went and entered a village of the Samaritans to make arrangements for Him. But they did not receive Him, because He was traveling toward Jerusalem. (Luke 9:52-53 NASB)

Jesus had His face turned toward Jerusalem and His ascension back to heaven, as well as everything in between, including the crucifixion. It was a long walk to the city and He planned to spend the night in a Samaritan village along the route. Messengers were sent ahead to prepare the way and make the arrangements. The Samaritans refused to receive Him, however, because He was headed to Jerusalem. 

This Samaritan village refused to rent rooms to Jesus, not because His entourage was too large and not because there was not available space. They refused to rent rooms to Him because He was heading to Jerusalem. One of the big controversies between the Samaritans and the Jews was the place of worship. The Samaritans worshipped at Gerazim, near Sychar. The Jews disagreed and said worship had to be at Jerusalem. It was so hotly contested that there was, basically, a feud over the matter. Because Jesus was headed to Jerusalem, they were having none of Him. 

It is easy to look at this passage and think that it has little relevance for us, but look again. Do we not also avoid intimacy with Christ because of the direction He would take us? The little village was content for Jesus to pass through, but not abide there. A Savior that is "just passing through" requires much less of us than one that has come into our hearts and intends to stay. 

This Savior who invades our lives and dwells with us will also likely disrupt our prejudice and our error. We can respond to the Divine Disruption in one of two ways. We can respond as the Samaritans did, refusing Jesus the opportunity to affect our prejudice and change our hearts. On the other hand, we can welcome Him, allow Him access to all the prejudice, wrong notions and sin, knowing that, with His coming, things will change. We will change. 

If the Samaritans had understood Who they refused, would they have chosen prejudice over their Savior? Would hatred have won out over freedom? Surely they would not, but how easy it is to forget that this Son of God dressed in dusty robes and sandals now reigns on high in gleaming robes of white with throngs of worshippers at His feet. He is worthy of our welcome, even though His arrival brings change. Let us respond to Him with open invitation. Come, Lord Jesus, and have your way in Me. 
Link to last night's post:
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