June 26, 2016
The Samaritans and the Jews just plain didn't like each other. In our gospel lesson this morning, Jesus “set his face to go to Jerusalem”. He knew and we know that his visit there was going to result in his death, he'd told his disciples this as well. But it meant traveling through Samaria. And Jesus intended to stay overnight in one of their villages. He sent messengers ahead. They arrived at a village, “but they did not receive him, because his face was set toward Jerusalem”. Now Jesus has had interactions with the Samaritans before. It appears that it wasn't a personal vendetta against Jesus or his disciples, but one of those prejudices that too often are held onto beyond reason. The Jews rejected the Samaritans back when they returned from captivity in Babylon. They viewed them as unqualified to be one of the chosen ones of Israel. That didn't sit well with the Samaritans and generations later, they won't even let Jesus, because he's a Jew, spend a night in their village.
With that as a background, I want to look this morning at the reactions of the people involved in this story, Jesus, the disciples and the Samaritan villagers.