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Daily Devotions, Evening and Morning Devotional


Sunrise on Temple Mount in Jerusalem; Back to Previous Devotion

September 28 - Morning

The people there did not welcome him, because he was heading for Jerusalem. When the disciples James and John saw this, they asked, “Lord, do you want us to call fire down from heaven to destroy them?” 
But Jesus turned and rebuked them.

- Luke 9:53-55

Sunset on the Sea of Galilee; Click to go to next devotion  
Samaritan Opposition    

In October of 29 AD, seven months before the crucifixion, Jesus leaves Galilee for the final time to
go to Jerusalem for the Feast of Tabernacles on October 15 (John 7:2). Jesus planned on going from Galilee, through the land of Samaria, and then entering Judea, where he would go to the feast in Jerusalem. In order to prepare a place for his disciples and those following him to the Jewish feast in Jerusalem, Jesus sent a couple of the disciples ahead into a village in Samaria to prepare for their overnight stay. Their assignment would have included securing shelter and food. The foresight and preparations would have been a courteous gesture to the Samaritan villagers who could have been seriously inconvenienced when overrun with these travelers.

Historically there had been opposition between the land of Samaria (northern Israel) and the land
of Judea since the days of Solomon’s son Rehoboam when the twelve tribes of Israel split into two countries: northern Israel and southern Judah. In 721 BC Israel was deported by Assyria and the population replaced with Gentiles who inter-married with the remaining Israelites to create the
people known as Samaritans. In 537 when the Jews of Judea returned from Babylonian captivity
to rebuild the Temple in Jerusalem the Samaritans asked to join in the effort, but their offer was rejected by Zerubbabel, Joshua and the other leaders of Judah (Ezra 4:1-5).

In response to this rejection the Samaritans opposed the Jewish effort in Jerusalem, but also built their own pagan version of the Temple on Mount Gerizim in Samaria. In 128 BC John Hyrcanus,
one of the descendants of the Maccabees (called the Hasmoneans) who became the
High Priest/King of Judea attacked Samaria, forced them to convert to Judaism and burnt
their Temple on Mount Gerizim. When Rome annexed the lands of Israel in 63 BC they relieved
the Samaritans from their Judean oppressors.

So, by 29 AD when the Samaritans learned that Jesus “was heading for Jerusalem” through Samaria to worship at the Jewish Temple it, makes complete sense that “the people there did not welcome
him.” (Luke 9:53) The Samaritan opposition to Jews making a pilgrimage to Jerusalem through
their land was often hostile and at times violent to the point of battle and murder. Josephus records an event that occurred in 50 AD that involved Samaritans killing Galileans traveling through Samaria:

“It was the custom of the Galileans, when they came to the holy city at the festivals, to take their journeys through the country of the Samaritans; and at this time there lay, in the road they took, a village that was called Ginea…where certain persons thereto belonging fought with the Galileans, and killed a great many of them…they came to Cumanus (Roman procurator of Judea 48-52 AD), and desired him to avenge the murder of those that were killed; but he was induced by the Samaritans, with money, to do nothing in the matter; upon which the Galileans were much displeased, and persuaded the multitude of the Jews to betake themselves to arms” (Josephus, book XX, chapter 6, verse 1)

It is interesting to note that the attitude of James and John was completely normal for the age in which they lived. And, considering James and John had only a few days before been taken by Jesus up Mount Hermon near Caesarea Philipi to see Elijah who himself had called down fire on a military captain from Samaria and his 50 troops on two different occasions (2 Kings 1:9-12), it makes some sense that James and John would assume the appropriate thing to do to these opponents of Jesus and the Temple would be to ask, “Lord, do you want us to call fire down from heaven to destroy them?”

Jesus rebuked James and John because, as John himself would write over 50 years later,
“God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but to save the world.” (John 3:17) Neither was Jesus was going to force obedience on the Samaritans, but offered them an opportunity to respond by faith to the Truth and the Spirit of God. Judgment will come, eventually,
and it will come by the hand of the Lord. Mark records that Jesus called James and John
“Sons of Thunder” (Mark 3:17). Episodes like this one in Samaria may have earned James and
John this title. It is interesting that when we think of the aged Apostle John we do not necessarily think of a man of thunder.

  Christian Quote from Church History

"When boiled down to
its essence,
unforgiveness is hatred.
- John R. Rice





Something to Ponder??
People of the Bible used lamps, and never candles. Candles were never part of biblical culture for they had
not been developed yet. Romans were the first to
use a wick, but it wasn’t
until the Middle Ages
that beeswax was
used with the wick.
Hebrew and Greek Word Study   Facts and Information

(Hb) - Sing, Song (Eng) - Shir is the verb that means "to sing," but comes from the
noun shir that means "song." The Hebrew people sang in times of deliverance and despair.
Over half the times the word shir is used it is used in the book of Psalms.
The book Song of Songs is Shir Shirim in Hebrew. The -im ending makes the
word shir plural so that shir means "song" and shirim means "songs."
The title Song of Songs means "it is the best song of all the songs,"
or the "most excellent song."
Thus, Song of Songs, or Shir Shirim.
  A clay seal, called a bulla, from 735-715 BC that says, "Belonging to Ahaz son of Jehotam, King of Judah" has been found. There are fingerprints embedded in the hardened clay, possibly those of Ahaz himself when he sealed the document. (Ahaz is referred to in 2 Chr.28;
2 Kings 16; Isaiah 7:10)
Confession to Action   Facts and Information
If the Lord rejected James and John's idea and rebuked them for their plans, will
he not at times need to rebuke my ideas, plans and attitudes? What plan of mine
has been rejected or when has the Lord possibly rebuked me for an idea that
I thought was useful and right?
  "Anyone tormented by the guilt of murder will seek refuge in the grave;
    let no one hold them back."
- Proverbs 28:17
Bible Reading Program Details
Read the Bible in a Year; Bible Reading Program
Read one chapter each day to read through the narrative portion (or, the story line) of the whole Bible Genesis-Acts in one year. Read the General Text of the Bible Read the Complete Text of the Bible in a Year
Nehemiah 4 Matthew 24 Nehemiah 8
Prayer for Today
Personal Prayer Church Prayer Item National Prayer Concerns World Prayer Concerns
To be a good
spouse or boyfriend/girlfriend
Spirit of Giving Local Economy
(click on Nation or World for daily updates)
Pakistan - revival in
the heart of the unevangelized world
Question and Answer
Photo of Jerusalem; Pictures of Israel Bible Map and Diagram

This is a history timeline with details of the seventieth week and potential eschatological time frames.

The model of the Temple Mount with Wilson's Arch in the bottom right.
The stone wall seen in the background is the west wall of the
Temple Mount in the Western Wall Tunnels. The stone wall is
represented in the model just to the left of Wilson's Arch and Gate.
(click on image for larger size)
Details and Explanation of Sets & Reps Devotional System Here Make a donation to support Generation Word Bible Teaching Ministry
Reps & Sets is a daily Bible devotional for Christians from Generation Word Bible Teaching used each morning and evening.

  © 2005 Generation Word  
Generation Word - Bible Teaching Ministry   Generation Word - Bible Teaching Ministry