This weekend we find Jesus resolved and determined to make his way to Jerusalem. Along the way he and his apostles pass through the territory of Samaria where the people no longer adhere to Jewish traditions. Normally pilgrims would usually pass around this area, but Jesus makes it clear his message and mission are for everyone. James and John suggest casting fire upon them to consume them, but Jesus’ journey to Jerusalem will result in the Spirit’s being cast like fire upon the apostles who will then be sent to all the nations.
The remainder of the Gospel contains three conversations between Jesus and potential disciples. They express their desire to follow, but first they need to take care of “business” at home. To this Jesus offers some seemingly harsh statements. He makes it clear the mission of proclaiming the
kingdom is urgent. Family, former labors and interests are all important, but Luke presents Jesus as intently committed to not tending the dead, but giving life; not plowing the earth, but saving it.
In our day we worry so much about security and convenience. We would like to say yes to Jesus’ invitation to follow him, and yet we’d prefer a more convenient time, when all our affairs are in order. We’re also used to clearly defined directions as to where we are going and how we will get there. Our computers can print these maps out with amazing precision. We are so addicted to knowing the future which makes following Jesus that much more difficult. He did not have a map or Global Positioning System to give to those he called. Instead he offered them a relationship based on love and trust. May God grant us the necessary courage to place our lives in His hands and go wherever he may lead us.