From Heaven With Love


Chapter 53—The Last Journey From Galilee

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

As the close of His ministry drew near, there was a change in Christ's manner of labor. Heretofore He had sought to shun publicity, refused the homage of the people, and had commanded that none should declare Him to be the Christ. HLv 328.1

At the time of the Feast of Tabernacles He had made His way to Jerusalem unobserved, and entered the city unannounced. But not so 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 to this the attention of the people must be directed. HLv 328.2

“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. HLv 328.3

The disciples would have prevented Him from making the journey to Jerusalem. They knew the deadly hostility of the religious leaders. To Christ it was a bitter task to lead His beloved disciples to the anguish and despair that awaited them at Jerusalem. And Satan was at hand to press his temptations. Why should He now go to Jerusalem, to certain death? On every hand 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 foe assailed Christ with fierce and subtle temptations. Had Jesus changed His course in the least to save Himself, the world would have been lost. HLv 328.4

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, “Wist ye not that I must be about My Father's business?” Luke 2:49. But in God's great plan the hour for the offering of Himself for the sins of men was soon to strike. He would not fail nor falter. His foes had long plotted to take His life; now He would lay it down. HLv 329.1

And He “sent messengers before His face: and they went, and entered into a village of the Samaritans, to make ready 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 from their doors the best gift of heaven. But all was lost to the Samaritans because of their prejudice and bigotry. HLv 329.2

James and John, Christ's messengers, were greatly annoyed at the insult; they were filled with indignation because He had been so rudely treated by the Samaritans. 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 slain the false prophets, they said, “Wilt Thou that we command fire to come down from heaven, and consume them?” They were surprised at Jesus’ rebuke: “Ye know not what manner of spirit ye are of. For the Son of man is not come to destroy men's lives, but to save them.” And He went to another village. HLv 329.3

It is no part of Christ's mission to compel men to receive Him. He desires only voluntary service, the willing surrender of the heart under the constraint of love. There can be no more conclusive evidence that we possess the spirit of Satan than the disposition 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 for men, through religious bigotry, to bring suffering on those who are the purchase of the Saviour's blood. HLv 329.4

A considerable part of the closing months of Christ's ministry was spent in Perea, the province beyond the Jordan from Judea. See Mark 10:1. Here the multitude thronged His steps, and much of His former teaching was repeated. HLv 330.1

As He had sent out the Twelve, so He “appointed seventy others, and sent them on ahead of Him, two by two into every town and place where He Himself was about to come.” RSV. For some time these disciples had been in training for their work. They had had the privilege of intimate association with Him and direct personal instruction. HLv 330.2

The command to the Twelve—not to enter into any city of the Gentiles or the Samaritans—was not given to the Seventy. Though Christ had been repulsed by the Samaritans, His love toward them was unchanged. In His name the Seventy visited, first of all, the cities of Samaria. HLv 330.3