Weekly Bible Reflection
Luke: Signs of the Kingdom
Fourth Sunday after Trinity
Text: Luke 9. 51-end: "The Kingdom of God must take priority"
Begin by using the Bible Study method as outlined
We all have conflicting demands on our time, energy and other resources. How do you strike a good balance between them, and what do you consider are your priorities in life?
A Window on the Text
Jesus had to go to Jerusalem. It was a holy place as well as the centre of secular power, and he was going to fulfil the destiny set for him. He didn’t have a lot of time left.
Samaria lay on his direct route between Judea and Galilee and this village, whose name we are not told, was obviously a convenient place to stay on the way through. Samaritans were ethnic Jews, like Jesus, but their sect of Judaism had broken away a few hundreds of years beforehand. Their holy place was Mount Gerizim at Shechem (the modern town of Nablus). As a result of the split, there was still great ill-feeling between them which occasionally erupted in violence. So it was not surprising that Jesus was unwelcome, heading for Jerusalem, not the Samaritans’ holy place.
The reaction of James and John reflected this historical animosity, but to Jesus their reaction was clearly excessive. Instead, he gave them a lesson about the demands of discipleship.
The next few verses continue more of Jesus' direct teaching about the Kingdom of God. His clear replies show just how important the Kingdom must be for his followers. The over-riding message is that nothing, absolutely nothing, else is more important: to be a follower of Jesus requires complete loyalty and a single minded dedication.
Responding as a community
- Discuss any parallels you can see with the commitment and dedication shown by people in other walks of life, such as sports and business.
- What does your community consider as its priority in the Kingdom?
- Give thanks that God has called you.
- Pray for wisdom to identify your role in the Kingdom