by Jose Kurian Puliyeril
Reading: St. Luke 9: 51- 62
In verse 51 we read, "And it came to pass, when the time was come that he should be received up, he steadfastly set his face to go to Jerusalem". St. Mark clearly states that our Lord was to be received in Heaven. (St. Mark 16: 19) The same information is given in the Acts of the Apostles 1: 2, where it is described as the day on which our Lord was taken up to heaven. Again we come across the occasion when our Lord surrendered himself before His father's will. The messengers who were sent by our Lord entered the village of the Samaritans and they tried to make arrangements for their master. But the local inhabitants did not agree, as they were so sure that our Lord would go to Jerusalem for the purpose of entering to heaven. We cannot say whether it was a mistake or misunderstanding on the part of the messengers sent by our Lord. But when the Samaritans disagreed to their proposal, they got annoyed and recommended their Lord and Master to send fire from heaven and destroy those who objected their proposal. It is quite natural and we also think and act like the messengers. We often do not wait to see where the mistake is and we often leave the charge of the mistakes with others. We consider such events as our achievements and greatness of our own brain. But we should not forget the truth that all our actions, thoughts and words are always watched by our Lord God. He is so sure where is wrong and what is wrong. In verse 54 we find the recommendation of the disciples James and John to command fire from heaven, as Prophet Elias did against his enemies. Kindly read 2 Kings 1:10.
Verse 55 says "But he turned and rebuked them and said, you know not what manner of spirit you are of." Let us try in our personal lives, to avoid such a scolding from our Lord God, though our deeds, thoughts and words are good enough to shower His anger and wrath. It is our Lord's version that the son of Man is not come to destroy men's lives, but to save lives. Even if we cannot save others or do good to others, we must take a serious decision not to disturb others.
In verse 57 we come across a certain man who offered to our Lord to follow Him wherever he might go. It is very clear that the man though promised so, was not at all serious about what he told. This is how we too make promises to God and His own selected ones. The man was voluntarily offering to follow the Lord and our Lord had not asked him to follow Him. Then only our Lord said to him "Foxes have holes, and birds of the air have nests, but the son of man has no place to put his head." This is very true of our Lord as He had no house on earth, and as He had spent most of His spare time in the caves of Mount olive. It is believed that in one of such caves only our Lord had taught the 'Lord's Prayer'. In verse 59 we find another person whom our Lord had invited to follow Him. But his lame excuse was 'suffer me first to go and bury my father." Are we also not responding in such a way before our Lord God, when He asks us to follow Him? Are we able to listen His call patiently in spite of our busy schedules? Let us respond positively to our Lord's call. He is calling us to witness Him. Witnessing doesn't mean that we should spend the entire time for the gospelization. We are supposed to live as true Christians and that will be enough for witnessing. We must have love towards our Lord God as well as our fellowmen. That is enough for a meaningful witnessing. This is the experience of preaching the Kingdom of God.
We find the third person who volunteered to follow Lord Jesus in verse 61. But he also insisted time to go back to his home to say farewell to the dear and near ones. Our Lord's reply is so significant. Our Lord says "No man having put his hand to the plough and looking back is fit for the kingdom of God". When we would take a decision to follow Him, let us stick on to the decision without having a second thought.
May God bless us all.
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