Humble Hero


The Last Journey From Galilee

This chapter is based on Luke 9:51-56; 10:1-24.

Near the close of His ministry, there was a change in the way Christ worked. Up to then He had tried to shun publicity, refused the adoration of the people, and had commanded that no one should declare Him to be the Christ. HH 226.1

At the time of the Feast of Tabernacles, He had made His way to Jerusalem unnoticed and entered the city unannounced. But it was not this way with His last journey. He now traveled in the most public manner, preceded by such an announcement of His coming as He had never made before. He was going to the scene of His great sacrifice, and He must direct the attention of the people to it. HH 226.2

“As Moses lifted up the serpent in the wilderness, even so must the Son of Man be lifted up.” John 3:14. All eyes must be drawn to Christ, the Sacrifice that brought salvation to the lost world. HH 226.3

The disciples would have prevented Him from making the journey to Jerusalem. They knew the deadly hostility of the religious leaders. It was a bitter task for Christ to lead His beloved disciples to the anguish and despair that waited for them at Jerusalem. And Satan was close by to press his temptations. Why should He now go to Jerusalem, to certain death? All around Him there were suffering ones waiting for healing. He was full of the vigor of manhood’s prime. Why not go to the vast fields of the world with the words of His grace, the touch of His healing power? Why not give light and gladness to those darkened and sorrowing millions? Why face death now and leave the work in its infancy? The enemy attacked Christ with fierce and subtle temptations. If Jesus had changed His course in the smallest way to save Himself, the world would have been lost. HH 226.4

But Jesus had “steadfastly set His face to go to Jerusalem.” The one law of His life was the Father’s will. In His boyhood, He had said to Mary, “Did you not know that I must be about My Father’s business?” Luke 2:49. But in God’s great plan, the hour for Him to offer Himself for our sins was soon to strike. He would not fail nor hesitate. His enemies had long plotted to take His life; now He would lay it down. HH 226.5

And He “sent messengers before His face. And as they went, they entered a village of the Samaritans, to prepare for Him.” But the people refused to receive Him, because He was on His way to Jerusalem. Little did they realize that they were turning away from their doors the best gift of heaven. The Samaritans lost all this because of their prejudice and bigotry. HH 226.6

James and John, Christ’s messengers, were greatly annoyed at the insult; they were filled with indignation because the Samaritans had treated Him so rudely. They reported to Christ that the people had even refused to give Him a night’s lodging. Seeing Mount Carmel in the distance, where Elijah had killed the false prophets, they said, “Do You want us to command fire to come down from heaven and consume them?” They were surprised at Jesus’ rebuke: “You do not know what manner of spirit you are of. For the Son of Man did not come to destroy men’s lives but to save them.” And He went to another village. HH 227.1

It is no part of Christ’s mission to compel people to receive Him. He wants only voluntary service, the willing surrender of the heart moved by love. There can be no more conclusive evidence that we possess the spirit of Satan than the desire to hurt and destroy those who do not appreciate our work, who act contrary to our ideas. Nothing can be more offensive to God than, through religious bigotry, bringing suffering on those who are the purchase of the Savior’s blood. HH 227.2

Christ spent a significant part of the closing months of His ministry in Perea, the province beyond the Jordan from Judea. See Mark 10:1. Here the people crowded around Him, and He repeated much of His former teaching. HH 227.3

As He had sent out the Twelve, so He “appointed seventy others and sent them on ahead of Him in pairs to every town and place where he himself intended to go.” NRSV. For some time these disciples had been in training for their work. They had had the privilege of close association with Him and direct personal instruction. HH 227.4

Jesus did not give the same command to the Seventy that He had given to the Twelve—not to enter into any city of the Gentiles or the Samaritans. Though the Samaritans had rudely rejected Christ, His love toward them was unchanged. In His name, the Seventy visited, first of all, the cities of Samaria. HH 227.5