‘And they did not receive Him’ Luke 9:53
Nobody likes to be scorned or shunned when trying to reconcile with an enemy, but Jesus faced this when He visited the people of Samaria. Jesus had enough reasons to avoid passing Samaria because of the long tradition of the Jews despising the Samaritans and the Samaritans hating them in return. They did every possible thing to hinder one another from entering each other’s territory.
The 15 miles journey via Samaria was the shortest route to Jerusalem. Jesus, crossing prejudicial and racial boundaries, passed through Samaria to offer the Samaritans the chance to hear the Good News and receive their salvation. Heaven’s judgment of consuming fire was hanging over them, but the Lord’s unfailing mercy had been prevailing for them. Mercy refused judgment. “It is of the LORD’S mercies that we are not consumed because his compassions fail not. They are new every morning:” (Lamentation 3:22, 23). Nevertheless, they missed their chance because they did not receive Him.
A cold response to divine goodness has become a natural reaction of fallen mankind. It was recorded that Jesus came to His own people (the Jews) who had longed for a Deliverer, but they received Him not. Here the old saying, ‘familiarity breeds contempt,’ rang true. He, whom angels feared to offend, was despised by men; even His own kinsmen. However, those who received Him by merely believing in His Name received the blessings and the right to be God’s adopted children (John 1:11-13). People all over the world may consider themselves to be God’s children. They may even celebrate that we all are children of God. By creation we are, but by choice, however, we all are sinners and lead sinful lives until we genuinely ask for help from Heaven. We can choose to be God’s children through Jesus Christ alone (Galatians 3:23).
Jesus always looks for the shortest route into our hearts. But many times we show a cold response and give Him no choice but to take a longer route. Thus we delay our deliverance because we deter the Deliverer. Sometimes such delay may eventually lead to denial, death and damnation. These are the sad testimonies of those damned souls in Hell. Many have missed numerous chances of deliverance! In the same country where many rejected the Lord, a penitent woman received Jesus and persuaded others to do the same (John 4:29-30). Where people refuse Jesus, a host of others receive Him. The mission of God is not void nor without profit. If you reject Him others will receive Him. “For what if some did not believe? Shall their unbelief make the faith of God without effect? God forbid: yea, let God be true” (Romans 3:3, 4). “If we believe not, yet he (Jesus) abideth faithful: he cannot deny himself” (2 Timothy 2: 13).
We never know when Jesus will pass our way for the very last time. Take a brief moment to look and listen; He passes your way daily. Count the times you have shown cold response to His Spirit and messages. How many times have you turned Jesus away, even in your difficult circumstances, when He offers to help? Let us take every opportunity to receive Him into our hearts, respond positively to Him when He calls, prove we love Him by the way we live, and serve Him with fear and trembling, and maintain our relationship with jealous care (Psalms 2: 11, 12).
We need Him more than ever before especially with the evil happenings of these last days. May we believe and give Him a warm reception in our hearts! Have you a place for Jesus in your life today?
“I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me.” (John 14:6).