Rejection, Following Jesus, Wolves, and Repentance
Luke 9:51 – 10:16 – December 12, 2021
This begins a new section of Luke from 9:51 to 19:44 when Jesus begins his journey to and when he finally* enters Jerusalem. In these ten chapters there will be fewer miracles (4) and many more parables (17)
Luke 9:51-56. Samaritans were Jews who had married Assyrians after the destruction of the northern kingdom of Israel in the 700s BC. They were considered half Jewish, or a mixed race, by other Jews. They were despised because of their rival temple in Samaria and their traditions concerning the law.
Jesus refuses to cast the final judgment on a Samaritan village which reaffirms that he is committed to those the Jews reject. The Apostle Phillip would return in Acts 8 to a great reception.
Luke 9:57-62. The cost of being a true follower of Jesus. Neither hardships nor bereavement nor family ties should keep anyone from following him. In life, discipleship must come first. The prophet Elisha was called by God through Elijah when he was plowing (1Kings 19:19-21), he said goodbye to his parents, slaughtered his oxen and burned his plow. There would be no turning back. How do we compare?
Luke 10:1-3. This is found only in Luke. Like the 72, the Lord invites us to partner with Him in expanding His kingdom. Even though He is the One who draws people to Himself and redeems them, He still leaves the proclamation of the message to us.
What did lambs among wolves mean? Jesus wanted his 72 disciples to understand what they were getting into. Their task would be dangerous. Often they would be rejected. Jesus was up front about what would happen if they ministered in his name. They would face hostility and spiritual danger.
Lambs speak of the sacrificial life of the apostles and of all followers of Christ. The wolves are those who seek to frighten and devour those who follow the Lord
Luke 10:4-9. Repentance is part of verse 9 for Jesus, as He went into Galilee, said in Mark 1:25, The time has come. The kingdom of God has come near. Repent and believe the good news!
Still not sure this is what Jesus meant? Then look ahead to verses 13-15 and what Jesus has to say about towns that are full of those who are unrepentant.
How important is repentance? In chapter 15 in the Westminster Confession of Faith as found in The constitution of the Presbyterian Church (USA) on p165 we read, The doctrine of repentance is to be preached by every minister of the gospel, as well as that of faith in Christ. And a bit later, Repentance be not to be rested in as any satisfaction for sin, or any cause of the pardon thereof, which is the act of God’s free grace in Christ; yet is it of such necessity to all sinners, that none may expect pardon without it.
In the NT, repent or repentance occurs 54 times; 14 in Luke, 10 in Acts, and 10 in Revelation.
What did Jesus mean when He told His followers to say The Kingdom of God has come near to you? The Greek text actually reads, “The Kingdom of God has been in the process of approaching, the approaching has stopped! The Kingdom has come up to this point.” Has come near in the Greek text means something has been in the process of coming and has now ceased in that coming.
Luke 10:10-16. v12 Sodom’s wickedness was proverbial, but rejecting the preachers of God’s kingdom is worse even than Sodom’s deeds.
v13-14 Chorazin . . . Bethsaida. Having heard and rejected Jesus, these towns were more guilty than Tyre and Sidon, which were infamous for their evil.
v15 Capernaum. Jesus’ headquarters on the northwest shore of the Sea of Galilee, whose inhabitants had many opportunities to see and hear him. Therefore the condemnation for their rejection was greater.
What do you think this then foreshadows for our country, for Europe?
v16 These words elevate the office of a faithful preacher or pastor of Christ, and magnify the guilt and the condemnation of those who reject the message.