but they would not welcome him because the destination of his journey was Jerusalem. Luke 9:53 NABRE
Jesus is beginning His journey to the cross. This passage is included in a section discussing Jesus time to be taken up. Jesus is determined to get to Jerusalem for the ending of His life and ultimately His return to His Father. Jesus sends messengers ahead to ready the places He will stay but in this case they are not welcome. This is scandalous as Israelites are known for their hospitality. Jesus is travelling through a Samaritan Village and is not welcome because He is going to Jerusalem. The Samaritan comes from the conquered northern tribe of Israel. The Jews consider them as having doubtful lineage on account of intermarriage with the Gentile peoples imported by the Assyrians after they conquered the northern kingdom around 721 BC. Besides these ethnic tensions there was an ongoing religious rift associated with the Samaritans worship on Mount Gerizim rather than the Jerusalem temple. Because of these disparities and Jesus intent to worship in the Jerusalem temple, the Samaritans did not welcome Him or His retinue. Jesus does not react to this lack of hospitality but it is noteworthy as all Israelites welcome others as if they are messengers of God. Recall Abraham’s meeting under the Mamre trees (Genesis 18:1-2). This rejection is not directed at Jesus, it is motivated by a general enmity between Samaritans and Jews.
The radical hospitality of the Hebrew people is founded on a desire to meet God always. Christians carry the Spirit of God within, we are all the Body of Christ. Therefore, when we meet others we are in fact greeting God. The Samaritans sent Jesus, the Son of God on His way, without fanfare. Being inhospitable risks us doing the same.
How do you welcome the stranger? Are you open to meeting God in others?When we meet others we are in fact greeting God. The Samaritans sent Jesus, the Son of God on His way, without fanfare. Being inhospitable risks us doing the same. Click To Tweet
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