Malankara World

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Luke 9: 51-56 From the Commentary on the Whole Bible (Jamieson, Fausset and Brown, 1871).

"As ploughing requires an eye intent on the furrow to be made, and is marred the instant one turns about, so will they come short of salvation who prosecute the work of God with a distracted attention, a divided heart. Though the reference seems chiefly to ministers, the application is general." Lu 9:51-56. The Period of His Assumption Approaching Christ Takes His Last Leave of Galilee—The Samaritans Refuse to Receive Him.

51. the time was come—rather, "the days were being fulfilled," or approaching their fulfillment that he should be received up—"of His assumption," meaning His exaltation to the Father; a sublime expression, taking the sweep of His whole career, as if at one bound He was about to vault into glory. The work of Christ in the flesh is here divided into two great stages; all that preceded this belonging to the one, and all that follows it to the other. During the one, He formally "came to His own," and "would have gathered them"; during the other, the awful consequences of "His own receiving Him not" rapidly revealed themselves.

He steadfastly set his face—the "He" here is emphatic—"He Himself then." See His own prophetic language, "I have set my face like a flint" (Isa 50:7). go to Jerusalem—as His goal, but including His preparatory visits to it at the feasts of tabernacles and of dedication (Joh 7:2, 10; 10:22, 23), and all the intermediate movements and events.

52. messengers before his face … to make ready for him—He had not done this before; but now, instead of avoiding, He seems to court publicity—all now hastening to maturity.

53. did not receive him, because, &c.—The Galileans, in going to the festivals at Jerusalem, usually took the Samaritan route [Josephus, Antiquities, 20.6.1], and yet seem to have met with no such inhospitality. But if they were asked to prepare quarters for the Messiah, in the person of one whose "face was as though He would go to Jerusalem," their national prejudices would be raised at so marked a slight upon their claims. (See on Joh 4:20).

54. James and John—not Peter, as we should have expected, but those "sons of thunder" (Mr 3:17), who afterwards wanted to have all the highest honors of the Kingdom to themselves, and the younger of whom had been rebuked already for his exclusiveness (Lu 9:49, 50). Yet this was "the disciple whom Jesus loved," while the other willingly drank of His Lord's bitter cup. (See on Mr 10:38-40; and Ac 12:2). That same fiery zeal, in a mellowed and hallowed form, in the beloved disciple, we find in 2Jo 5:10; 3Jo 10.
fire … as Elias—a plausible case, occurring also in Samaria (2Ki 1:10-12).

55, 56. know not what … spirit—The thing ye demand, though in keeping with the legal, is unsuited to the genius of the evangelical dispensation. The sparks of unholy indignation would seize readily enough on this example of Elias, though our Lord's rebuke (as is plain from Lu 9:56) is directed to the principle involved rather than the animal heat which doubtless prompted the reference. "It is a golden sentence of Tillotson, Let us never do anything for religion which is contrary to religion" [Webster and Wilkinson].

56. For the Son of man, &c.—a saying truly divine, of which all His miracles—for salvation, never destruction—were one continued illustration.
went to another—illustrating His own precept (Mt 10:23).

Lu 9:57-62. Incidents Illustrative of Discipleship.

The Precipitate Disciple (Lu 9:57, 58).

(See on Mt 8:19, 20.)

The Procrastinating Disciple (Lu 9:59, 60).

(See on Mt 8:21).

The Irresolute Disciple (Lu 9:61, 62).

61. I will follow … but—The second disciple had a "but" too—a difficulty in the way just then. Yet the different treatment of the two cases shows how different was the spirit of the two, and to that our Lord addressed Himself. The case of Elisha (1Ki 19:19-21), though apparently similar to this, will be found quite different from the "looking back" of this case, the best illustration of which is that of those Hindu converts of our day who, when once persuaded to leave their spiritual fathers in order to "bid them farewell which are at home at their house," very rarely return to them. (Also see on Mt 8:21.)

62. No man, &c.—As ploughing requires an eye intent on the furrow to be made, and is marred the instant one turns about, so will they come short of salvation who prosecute the work of God with a distracted attention, a divided heart. Though the reference seems chiefly to ministers, the application is general. The expression "looking back" has a manifest reference to "Lot's wife" (Ge 19:26; and see on Lu 17:32). It is not actual return to the world, but a reluctance to break with it. (Also see on Mt 8:21.)

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