The time when He should be received up approaching, the Lord prepares to go to Jerusalem. He sends Luke ix. 61-56, messengers before Him, who, entering into a Samaritan village, are rejected by the inhabitants. He reproves His angry disciples James and John, and departs to another village. He replies to one who proposes to Luke ix. 61, 62. follow Him. He now sends out seventy of His dis- Luke X. 1-24. ciples, to go two and two into every city and place where He Himself would come. They depart, ami return from time to time as they fulfil their commission. Matt. xix. 1, 2. He follows in their steps, journeying through Ferea to- Mark X. 1. ward Jerusalem.
To reconcile the various statements of the Evangelists respecting the Lord's final departure from Galilee, and the course of His journeys till He reaches Bethany, six days before the Passover, is one of the most difficult tasks that meet the harmonist. That we may see clearly the points of difference, it will be well to consider, first, the statements of each Evangelist separately ; and as John gives us the most distinct notices of time, we begin with his account.
Jesus goes up, " not openly, but as it were in secret," to the feast of Tabernacles, (vii. 1-14,) and continues at Jerusalem till the end of the feast, and perhaps longer, (vii. 14—x. 21.) He is present in the temple at the feast of Dedication, (x. 22-39.) He goes from Jerusalem beyond Jordan, and abides there and teaches, (x. 40-42.) . He returns to Bethany, near Jerusalem, at the request of Mary and Martha, and raises Lazarus from the dead, (xi. 1-46.) He retires from Bethany to Ephraim to escape His enemies, and " there continued with His disciples," (xi. 54.) He leaves Ephraim, and reaches Bethany six days before the Passover, (xii. 1.) It thus appears that John does not mention any return to Galilee after Jesus left it for the feast of Tabernacles. Still, his narrative does not exclude it. If such a return took place, it may have been in the interval from Tabernacles to Dedication, a period of about two months, of which he gives no account; or it may have been after Dedication, and before the return to Bethany for the raising of Lazarus; or after the sojourn at Ephraim, and before the last arrival at Bethany.
In Matthew we find but a very brief mention of the departure from Galilee, (xix. 1,2:) " And it came to pass that when Jesus had finished these sayings, He departed from Galilee, and came into the coasts of Judea beyond
Jordan: and great multitudes followed Him, and He healed them there." The language of Mark (x. 1) is very similar : "And He arose from thence, and cometh into, the coasts of Judea by the farther side of Jordan; and the people resort unto Him again, and as He was wont He taught them again." l The direction of this journey is plain. Leaving Galilee, Jesus crosses the Jordan, and passing southward through Perea, thus comes to the borders of Judea, probably near Jericho. That the place of departure was Galilee, appears from its express mention by Matthew, and also from the " thence" in Mark, which obviously refers to Capernaum, mentioned ix. 33.a That this was the final departure, appears from the fact that no other is mentioned after it. Indeed, it is the only departure mentioned by them.
In Luke (ix. 51) we find mention made of a journey, which, upon the face of it, seems to have been the last to Jerusalem. "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." That reference is here made to His ascension into heaven, rrjq ai/aA^ews avrov, admits of no reasonable doubt.3 We cannot, from the phrase, " when the time was come," tv Tw <rv}JLir}povo'6ai rag rjfiepa^ infer Jhat the ascension was immediately at hand. It is well translated by Norton : " When the time was near for His being received into heaven." The end of His earthly career, His death, His resurrection, and His ascension, were now constantly before Him.
1 For the &a rov irepav rov loptiavov, Teschendorf has Kai irepav rov loptiavov. So Alford, Meyer. a Meyer, Alexander. 3 So Meyer, Robinson, Lichtenstein, Alford. The view of Wieseler, (324,) followed by Lange, that His being received up, refers to His favorable reception by the Galileans; and that the meaning of the passage is, when He no longer found Himself received in Galilee, He left that province and went up to Jerusalem to labor there, is very arbitrary, and finds no general support.
1 For the &a rov irepav rov loptiavov, Teschendorf has Kai irepav rov loptiavov. So Alford, Meyer.
a Meyer, Alexander.
3 So Meyer, Robinson, Lichtenstein, Alford. The view of Wieseler, (324,) followed by Lange, that His being received up, refers to His favorable reception by the Galileans; and that the meaning of the passage is, when He no longer found Himself received in Galilee, He left that province and went up to Jerusalem to labor there, is very arbitrary, and finds no general support.
These words, then, seem plainly to refer to a final departure from Galilee. They are inconsistent with the supposition that the Lord returned again, to resume His labors, after a brief visit at Jerusalem. But here great difficulties meet us. Is all that Luke narrates, from ix. 51 to xviii. 15, when his narrative meets those of Matthew and Mark, an account of one and the same journey to Jerusalem ? This seems to be so, because there is no mention of any other departure from Galilee, and Jerusalem is everywhere men. tioned as the goal toward which His steps are steadily directed. It is said, in the only distinct notices of His movements during this period, (xiii. 22,) that " He went through the cities and villages, teaching, and journeying toward Jerusalem." Again, (xvii. 11:) " And it came to pass, as He went to Jerusalem, that He passed through the midst of Samaria and Galilee." This express mention of the fact that He was going to Jerusalem, taken in connection with the earlier statement, (ix. 51,) that " He steadfastly set His face to go to Jerusalem," strongly implies that the same journey is meant. If this be so, it is plain that the Evangelist does not follow a chronological order, as, early in the narrative, (x. 38,) He enters the village of Martha and Mary, which we know was Bethany, in Judea, and very near to Jerusalem.1
1 The elaborate dissertation of Greswell, (ii. 545,) to show that this was not Bethany, but some village of Galilee not named, is far from convincing. The main argument is drawn from a " singular idiom in St. John, affecting the use of the prepositions airo and e£;" but the distinction taken is not generally recognized. See Meyer in loco; Winer, Gram. 326, note 1.
Still later in the narrative, (xvii. 11,) the Lord appears passing through the midst, or along: the border line, of Samaria and Galilee. These local notices show that two or three distinct journeys are embraced ; or that if one only be meant, and that continuous from Galilee to Jerusalem, the Evangelist arranges its events by another order than that of time. Both these suppositions have their advocates, and we will consider, briefly, each of them.
First. Does Luke here include several distinct journeys ? Many harmonists find three, but are not wholly agreed as to the way in which these several journeys of Luke should be connected with those mentioned by the other Evangelists. The first of these is, according to some, that mentioned in ix. 51 to the feast of Tabernacles, whose starting point was Galilee, and the same mentioned in John vii. 10. The second is that mentioned in xiii. 22, when He went up some two months later to the feast of Dedication, whose starting point was Perea, and to be placed in John x. between vs. 21, 22. The third is that mentioned in xvii. 11, when He went up to the last Passover, whose starting point was Ephraim, (John xi. 54.) Wieseler (321) makes Luke ix. 51 identical with John vii. 10 ; Luke xiii. 22, with John xi. 1-17 ; and Luke xvii. 11, with the last journey to the Passover, beginning at Ephraim, John xii. 1, and referred to by Matt. xix. 1, Mark x. 1. Krafft (107) identifies Luke ix. 51 with John vii. 10. After the feast of Tabernacles, Jesus sends out the Seventy from Jerusalem, and follows them Himself, in a circuit through Galilee and back to Jerusalem, before the feast of Dedication. To this cir* cuit the notices in Luke xiii. 22 and xvii. 11 refer. To Luke xvii. 11, correspond Matt. xix. 1 and Mark x. 1. Robinson (Har. 198) also identifies Luke ix. 51 with John vii. 10, but refers all, from xiii. 22—xix. 1, to the last Passover journey, beginning at Ephraim, and to this journey refers Matt. xix. 1, and Mark x. 1.
As we see, all of these suppositions identify Luke ix. 51 and John vii. 10. But this is at best very doubtful Let us note some of the points of difference : 1st, In Luke, Jesus leaves Galilee for the last time, going to Jerusalem to suffer. In John, He goes thither to a feast, some six months before His death. 2d, In Luke, He goes with an unusual degree of publicity, accompanied by the apostles, and sending messengers before Him to make ready for Him. In John, Fe " went up unto the feast, not openly, but as it were in secret." 3d, In Luke, He goes slowly, and apparently made a wide circuit, passing through many villages. In John, He goes rapidly and directly, not leaving Galilee till His brethren had gone, nor showing Himself in Jerusalem till " about the midst of the feast." The only important argument in favor of their identity is, that according to Luke, Jesus proposed to go through Samaria, which is supposed to explain John's statement that He went up " as it were in secret." It is said that the common route was through Perea on the east side of Jordan, and He therefore went on the west side, through Samaria.1 But Josephus2 says expressly, that it was the custom of the Galileans to pass through Samaria on the way to the feasts. No inference, therefore, that this was a secret journey, can be drawn from this fact. We conclude, then, that Luke and John refer to different journeys.3
If not the journey to the feast of Tabernacles, to what subsequent journey mentioned by John does Luke refer ? Was it to the feast of Dedication, a few weeks later? (John x. 22.) As nothing is said by John of any return to Galilee after the feast of Tabernacles, it is inferred by many4 that He must have remained till Dedication at Jerusalem, or in its vicinity.
i Wieseler, 320. a Antiq., 20. 6. 1.
3 So Meyer, Alford, De Wette, Riggenbach, Greswell, Neander, Baumgarten.
4 Robinson, Meyer, Alford. The latter, however, expresses himseif doubtingly
But this silence respecting a return to Galilee by no means shows that none took place. The Evangelist is not giving a chronological outline of events, but the Lord's discourses, and adds only those historical facts that are necessary to explain them.1 It is said again, that at the feast of Dedication (John x. 26) He alludes to His words spoken at an earlier period, (x. 1-5,) from which it is inferred that no long interval could have elapsed, and that His auditors must have been in both cases the same.a But two months is not so long an interval that His words could have been forgotten, especially if He had immediately after left the city; and His auditors at both feasts were in part the inhabitants of Jerusalem.3 There seems, then, no need to suppose that His discourse respecting the sheep (x. 1-18) was spoken just before the feast of Dedication, and that He had therefore continued at Jerusalem since Tabernacles.
Against the supposition that He spent this interval in Jerusalem or in Judea, is the statement (John vii. 1) that " He would not walk in Jewry because the Jews sought to kill Him." The hatred of the Jews did not permit Him to remain in Judea to teach ; and on this ground He appears to have passed by several of the feasts. It is highly improbable, then, that after the reception He had met at the feast of Tabernacles, when a formal attempt was made to arrest Him, and the populace had taken up stones to stone Him, He should have remained in Judea till the next feast, exposed to their machinations.4
Again, the Lord carried on no public work in Judea after He left it to begin His Galilean ministry. So far as we learn, He had not yet entered it for any purpose since the feast, (John v. 1.) That He had not been into Judea and manifested Himself there, was the basis of the complaints of His brethren, (vii. 3, 4.)
* Riggenbacb, 421. 2 Stier, v. 485 ; Meyer. 8 See Luthardt in loeo * Luthardt, ii. 74; Lichtenstein, 299.
* Riggenbacb, 421. 2 Stier, v. 485 ; Meyer.
8 See Luthardt in loeo * Luthardt, ii. 74; Lichtenstein, 299.
If, then, Jesus returned to Galilee after the feast of Tabernacles, and the journey of Luke (ix. 51) was subsequent to this feast, can we identify'it as the journey to the feast of Dedication ? But before this point can be considered, it will be necessary to examine what is said of the mission of the Seventy, (Luke x. 1-17,) in its bearings upon the Lord's own labors during this last journey.
We are told that, " After these things the Lord appointed other seventy also, and sent them two and two before His face into every city and place, whither He Himself would come." This plainly shows that they were to act as His forerunners or heralds upon the journey He was about to undertake ; and this journey can be no other than that mentioned, (ix. 51,) or His last journey from Galilee. It shows, also, that the route was determined upon; for where He designed to come, they should precede Him, and whither they went and found reception, there He should follow them. Thus their movements were arranged with reference to His. As they were to go two and two, they could easily in a short time visit a large number of cities. If each couple visited but one, this would make thirty-five, and it therefore follows that His journey, following on their steps, must' have occupied a considerable period of time.
The end for which this large deputation was sent forth, was, as expressed in their commission, to heal the sick, and to proclaim the kingdom of God at hand; and thus prepare the way for the Lord, who was to follow them. But what was the significance of this proclamation ? Was it merely a repetition of what had been preached by John the Baptist,
by the Lord, and by the apostles ? Did it not rather derive a peculiar character from the relations in which the mission stood to the Lord's subsequent journey ? They were not to go to every part of the land, but only to those cities " where He Himself would come." We may, therefore, well infer that they did not merely announce in general terms the Messianic kingdom, but made specific mention of Jesus, who was to follow them, as the Messiah. " They were only to give notice that the Messiah was coming, and that in those places only to which He was to come."1 It was not merely the proclamation of the kingdom, but also the proclamation of the King. Jesus was soon to follow on His way to Jerusalem, and thus the eyes of all were turned to Him, not as a great Teacher, or Prophet, but as the long promised Son of David and Redeemer of Israel.
Some, however, have questioned w7hether this sending of the Seventy can be brought into immediate chronological connection with the journjy of Luke, (ix. 51.) It is said that the latter refers to His journey to the feast of Tabernacles, and that the Seventy were not sent till after His return from this feast to Galilee. But this is wholly untenable. We cannot suppose that after the Evangelist had said in so emphatic a manner, that He steadfastly set His face to go to Jerusalem, and sent messengers before Him, he should pass over in entire silence its further prosecution, His arrival at Jerusalem, and His return to Galilee, and then, without the least hint of it, begin the recital of another journey. We conclude, then, that the sending of the Seventy was very soon after the rejection of the messengers whom He had sent into Samaria.
We may now ask what light this mission casts upon the direction and time of the Lord's last journey.
* Lightfoot in loco.
And first, as to its direction. Where were the Seventy sent ? Some say to Samaria.1 This destination has some support in the fact that they, unlike the Twelve, were not forbidden to enter Samaria and the heathen cities; and also that the number seventy may have had some symbolic reference to the heathen nations. But it is, nevertheless, intrinsically improbable. It was to give the largest publicity to His own Messianic claims that Jesus now sent them forth. They were simply to announce the kingdom of God at hand, and thus the very nature of their mission limited it to those who were already familiar with the ideas which that announcement involved. Besides, He had been already rejected in Samaria by the rejection of His former messengers, (Luke ix. 53,) whose office it was not, indeed, to preach or to heal, but who had preceded Him, as servants precede a prince, to see that all is ready for His fitting reception. Did He send them into Judea ? This is in itself very probable. Although for a considerable period He had not walked in Jewry, because the Jews sought to kill Him, yet this would not prevent Him from now sending to that province His messengers, that perchance it might yet repent. If His life had been repeatedly threatened at Jerusalem, still other cities might be more favorably disposed, and through the proclamations of His heralds, the way be prepared for Himself. The number seventy, also, seems to have some symbolic reference to the seventy elders of Israel, (Ex. xxiv. 9 ; Num. xi. 24,) implying a general visitation. Still, it is not said by any of the Evangelists that He visited any part of Judea except that lying between the Jordan and Jerusalem. It may be that His purpose at first was to enter Judea by Samaria, but being rejected upon the border, He journeyed into Perea, designing thus to enter it; but His life being endangered when He reached Jerusalem, He turned back again to Perea.
» Wieseler, 326, note 1; Lange.
In the absence of all definite statements, great uncertainty rests upon the point whether any of the Seventy actually visited Judea; and if they did so, what reception they met, and whether they were followed by the Lord.
Did He send them into Galilee ? This is possible, if we suppose Him to have sent them from Capernaum, and in such direction that, in following them, He should be going toward Jerusalem. Most parts of Galilee, however, He had doubtless already visited, and that He did not design to visit them again may be inferred from the woes He pronounced upon Chorazin, Bethsaida, and Capernaum, (Luke x. 1315 ;) nor is there mention made of any Galilean village.
That the chief scene of the labors of the Seventy was in Perea, is apparent.1 This province was under the jurisdiction of Herod, and here was offered them the same freedom of action that Jesus had had up to this time in Galilee. It was also a part of the country that He had but little visited, and the road along the Jordan was a much-travelled thoroughfare to Jerusalem.
The names of none of the cities visited by the Seventy, and afterward by the Lord, are given, and we cannot therefore tell how wide a circuit He may have taken. It is probable that they were sent to .the larger towns, perhaps to those lying nearest the ordinary route to Jerusalem.
Second. When were the Seventy sent ? Many, identifying Luke ix. 51 and John vii. 10, say, just before the feast of Tabernacles, and before Jesus had left Galilee.2 Others, after He had left Galilee and while on His way to Jerusalem to this feast.3 But, as we have seen, the character of that journey to the feast of Tabernacles forbids that He could have been preceded by such a deputation; some, therefore, would make them to have been sent from Jerusalem, or from Judea, soon after the feast of Tabernacles, and before that of Dedication.
1 So Lichtenstein, Robinson.
2 Newcome, Townsend, Robinson, Strong.
3 Lightfoot Friedlieb, Wieseler.
But this implies that the interval between the feasts was spent in Judea, which is untenable ; nor is it at all consistent with the object of the mission that the Lord should follow them away from Jerusalem. Many, who make Him to have returned to Galilee after the feast of Tabernacles, place the sending before the following feast of Dedication, and while He was on the way to Jerusalem through Perea.1 This period has much in its favor. The last journey was through Perea, (Matt, xix. 1; Mark x. 1.) He was attended by great multitudes, (Matt. xix. 2; Luke xii. 1.) He resumed there the work of teaching the people, which for a time He had suspended, (Mark x. 1.) He goes not directly forward, but in a circuit through cities and villages, yet always making progress toward Jerusalem, (Luke xiii. 22.) Reaching the borders of Judea as the time came to celebrate the feast of Dedication, He goes up to Jerusalem. His appearance there seems to have been unexpected, perhaps from the fact that it was winter, when few journeyed from a distance ; but the rumor that He was now more openly presenting His Messianic claims through the mission of the Seventy, had apparently reached the Jews, for they immediately demand of Him that He should tell them plainly whether He is the Christ. They would learn it from His own lips. Forced to flee from their wrath, He recrosses the Jordan, and in that part of the district of Perea, where John at first baptized, He took up His abode. As many had followed Him upon His journey, so many resorted to Him here, till He was called to Bethany, near Jerusalem, by the death of Lazarus. After the resurrection of Lazarus, He is compelled to hide Himself at Ephraim till the Passover came.
1 Teschendorf, Lichtenstein, Neander, Alford, Milman, Oosterzee, Riggenbach.
Thus this last journey was not wholly continuous. It was interrupted by a period after the Dedication spent in Perea, which, however, seems to have been a period of activity, and later by a sojourn at Ephraim, where He apparently devoted Himself wholly to His disciples. But leaving Ephraim as the pilgrims begin to gather to attend the Passover, He joins them in the neighborhood of the Jordan, and the journey ends with the same publicity with which it began. Attended by the multitude, He enters Jericho, and from hence He goes to Jerusalem in triumphal procession. Thus the last journey of the Lord preserves its uniformity of character, from the commencement to the close,
Some, however, would place this journey after the feast of Dedication. But when, after this feast, did Jesus return to Galilee ? Was it when, the Jews having sought to take Him, He escaped out of their hand? (John x. 39.)1 When, however, we consider how continuously the narrative proceeds, there is no place for a return to Galilee. The Evangelist says: "He escaped out of their hand, and went away again beyond Jordan, into the place where John at first baptized, and there He abode." To insert between this escape and the departure beyond Jordan, a journey to Galilee and a return, is very arbitrary; and the more, that the syntax suggests immediate chronological sequence, the verb, v. 40, finding its subject in v. 39. It was not from Galilee that He went away beyond Jordan, but from Jerusalem, so far as appears from the narrative. Beyond Jordan He abides, till summoned by the sisters of Lazarus to Bethany. Immediately after the miracle there He retires to Ephraim.
Can we, then, place this last journey after the sojourn in Ephraim, as is done by Greswell ? We are told that " He there continued with His disciples," (John xi. 54.) The retirement of Jesus thither being to escape the notice of the chief priests and Pharisees, who had determined to put Him to death, (vs. 47-54,) and who "had given a commandment that, if " any man knew where He were, he should show it, that they might take Him," there is a strong improbability that He would attract public attention to Himself by making excursions to teach, or to heal.
i Stier, Bauingarten.
While nothing is said of the nature of the Lord's labors in Ephraim, the mention of the fact that He continued there with His disciples, intimates that to them was His time devoted. It is not distinctly said when He left Ephraim for Jerusalem, but the impression made by the narrative, is that it was a very short time before the Passover. Of the route, the Evangelist says nothing, except that six days before the Passover He came to Bethany, (xii. 1.) If, however, He went first to Galilee, and then, sending out the Seventy, awaited their return, and followed upon their steps through Perea to Jericho and Bethany, He must have left Ephraim a considerable time before the Passover. Greswell (ii. 529) finds in this no difficulty, as he supposes Him to have reached that city about the end of December, and to have remained there a month, or to the end of January. Two months would thus remain for the last journey.1
Against this attempt to show that the Lord went from Ephraim back to Galilee, the language of Luke (ix. 51-53) forms a strong objection. The Samaritans " did not receive Him because His face was as though He would go to Jerusalem." The answer, that this does not refer to the direction of His journey, but to His purpose in undertaking it, is forced and unsatisfactory. It is plain that He was in Galilee when He sent messengers to the Samaritan village. He must, then, previously have left Ephraim, and gone into Galilee, of which journey nothing is said.
* See also Robinson, Har. 202.
This is not impossible, but it does not find any support in John or Luke.
If, then, we cannot, with Greswell, put all the Lord's last journey, beginning with Luke ix. 51, after the sojourn at Ephraim, can we thus put any part of it ? Robinson here inserts all following Luke xiii. 10. But this arrangement, which he supposes to be presented, " perhaps, for the first time," meets none of the difficulties arising from the neglect of chronological order by Luke ; nor is there anything in the narrative that leads us to suppose any such change of place. The view that Luke (xvii. 11) refers to His departure from Ephraim, is much better supported. The statement of the Evangelist: " And it came to pass as He went to Jerusalem that He passed through the midst of Samaria and Galilee," may be variously interpreted. Jerusalem was the goal, but what was the starting point ? If the language means that He passed across these provinces, first Samaria and then Galilee, journeying northward, He could not have been in Galilee, or in Perea, or in Samaria ; He must then have been in Judea. But to reach Jerusalem from Judea, why pass through Samaria? If we make Ephraim the starting point, and assume that this city was near the south border line of Samaria, we can suppose that He passed northward till He reached the frontier of Galilee, and proceeding along the frontier eastward, crossed the Jordan, and entered Perea.1 In this case the Lord did not travel in Galilee, or perform any ministry there, so that His former departure (ix. 51) may be said to have been the last. But can this passage along the frontier be identified with that departure, of which Matthew (xix. 1) and Mark (x. 1) speak? From the very definite notice of place which the latter gives, " And He arose from thence," we infer that this departure was from Capernaum, not from Ephraim.
i That the expression, "Through the midst of Samaria and Galilee,'* W fi€<rov ^afxapeias Kai Ta\i\aiasy may be thus understood, is generally admitted. So Bengel, Meyer, Norton, Alford, Lichtenstein, Trench.
Jesus must then have gone from Ephraim back to Capernaum, and thence have commenced His journey. But the language (Luke ix. 51) implies that He then left Galilee for the last time. The words, also, of Matthew and Mark plainly intimate, that the Lord had continued His labors in Galilee down to the departure of which they speak. Thus, we conclude that Luke ix. 51 (not xvii. 11) is parallel with Matt. xix. 1, and Mark x. 1. The latter Evangelists, omitting most that took place during the journey, come again (Matt, xix. 13 ; Mark x. 13) into unison with Luke, (xviii. 15 ;) and from this point the narratives mention, for the most part, the same particulars. If we make Matt. xix. 1, and Mark x. 1, parallel with Luke ix. 51, it is not, however, necessary to refer the narratives of the former to what took place in the beginning of the journey. All that they tell us, may have taken place after the Lord left Ephraim, and while in Perea.
We come, then, to the conclusion that Luke's words, (ix. 51,) "He steadfastly set His face to go up to Jerusalem," refer to the Lord's final departure from Galilee ; and that most of the events he relates from this point to chap, xviii. 15, where his narrative becomes parallel with those of Matthew and Mark, took place during this journey. We find no ground to believe, that after this departure He again visited Galilee. He did not, indeed, go directly to Jerusalem, as He was preceded by the Seventy, and His course was determined by the reception they met; nor, when He reached Jerusalem, could He abide there, but was forced to flee, first to Perea, and afterward to Ephraim. These flights the Synoptists do not mention, and we learn from them no more than that He went to Jerusalem by way of Perea.
If, then, all of Luke's account refers to one and the same journey, it follows that he does not relate in exact
chronological order; nor does it appear by what principle he is governed in his arrangement. The various theories which have "been presented, we must here pass by. That in the main the order is historical, is probable.
Comparing Luke with the other Evangelists, we mark the following points of identification: Luke ix. 51, and Matt. xix. 1, and Mark x. 1 ; Luke xvii. 11, and the journey from Ephraim, John xi. 55. Where, in Luke's account, the visit to the feast of Dedication (John x. 22) is to be placed, is not apparent. In the absence of all definite data, we shall assume that his statement (xiii. 22) is to be referred to the period immediately preceding this feast, and that all from chap. xiv. to xvii. 10 may have taken place after Jesus' return to Perea, (John x. 40.)
What determined the Lord to take the route through Samaria rather than through Perea, upon this His last journey, we cannot tell. Perhaps it may have been the favorable reception wilich He had before met from the Samaritans, (John iv. 39-42,) or that He desired to take the most direct route into Judea. That He should send messengers before Him, is to be explained from the fact that this journey wras of great publicity. Whether " to make ready for Him," crot/xacrat aura), means simply to prepare lodgings for Him, as most suppose, may be questioned. It seems much more to have had reference to the announcement that the Messiah was at hand, and that the inhabitants of the village should prepare themselves to receive Him with all the external marks of respect that befitted His high dignity. But a Messiah going up to Jerusalem, was a stumbling-block to the Samaritans, and they would not receive Him, Ovk eSefavTo avrov. (Compare John iv. 45.) This rejection of Himself in the persons of His messengers, was perhaps a divine intimation to Him that He should not go to Jerusalem through Samaria, but through Perea.1 Who these messengers were, is not known.
1 See Lichitenstein, 316
The anger manifested by James and John, has led some, as A. Clarke, to suppose that Jesus had sent them, and that they felt the rejection as a personal insult; but for this there is no sufficient ground. The lofty and impetuous language of the two, "Wilt Thou that we command fire to come down from Heaven and consume them ? " clearly intimates, however, that a new stage in the Lord's work had come; and that these disciples, elated with the hope that He was now about to assert His kingly claims, were ready to punish in the severest manner all who refused Him Messianic honors.
From this village they went to another, (Luke ix. 56.) It is not wholly clear whether the latter was in Samaria, or Galilee. The presumption is that it was in Galilee.1 There is no mention of any new messengers, nor any further allusion to the Samaritans. The village where He was rejected is conjectured by Lichtenstein (318) to have been Ginnea or Jenin, situated upon the border of Samaria and Galilee, and overlooking the plain of Esdraelon. It is mentioned by Josephus.2 From thence the Lord would pass eastward to the Jordan, and thus enter Perea.
Luke (vs. 57-60) mentions, in connection with this journey, the incidents which Matthew (viii. 19-22) mentions as taking place just before the journey to Gergesa; and adds also another of like kind. As it is very improbable that events, so remarkably similar, should have occurred twice ; and as it is impossible to tell which of the Evangelists relates most accurately,3 we have followed the order of Matthew in regard to the incidents which he and Luke relate in common, and insert here what Luke alone relates, (vs. 61, 62.)» Meyer, Lichtenstein. a Antiq., 20. 6.1.
3 In favor of Matthew most, as Meyer, Bleek, Lange, Lichtenstein; of Luke, Tischendorf; Alford, undecided. That the followers of Jesus here spoken of were Judas Iscariot, Thomas, and Matthew, is a mere fancy of Lange.