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Ministry of Jesus

Samaritan Opposition

Scripture

Luke 9:51-55

Commentary

Despite the success Jesus had in preaching to the Samaritan woman at the well other Samaritans were not as receptive.  Jews and Samaritans did not get along because they had a different national heritage.

In 722 BC the Assyrians invaded the northern tribes of Israel.  Rather than carry them away as slaves, they allowed the people to remain in the land but under subjugation.  They married the Israelites and had children with them.  What resulted was the Samaritans, a race of people who were half Israelite, half Assyrian.  Because of this, Israelites treated them even worse than Gentiles.

The Samaritans likewise did not get along with the Jews and did not receive Jesus when they discovered that He was going to Jerusalem.

James and John are known as the sons of thunder and in this passage they earn their nickname.  They seek retaliation against the towns that had rejected them.  Instead, Jesus rebuked them.  Earlier in Luke 9, when He sent the disciples out, He told them that if they were not well received to shake the dust off their feet and to move on.  This would be to the town's shame and a testimony against it.  James and John had short memories or had not learned the lesson yet.  God would judge the wicked, but according to His timetable and calling fire from heaven was not necessary.

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