Sometimes We Miss Jesus in Other People Groups
As the time approached for him to be taken up to heaven, Jesus resolutely set out for Jerusalem. And he sent messengers on ahead, who went into a Samaritan village to get things ready for him; but the people there did not welcome him, because he was heading for Jerusalem.
- Luke 9:51-53
There was plenty of ethnic tension in the first century. For example, the Jews and the Samaritans told different stories about Samaritan origins. The Samaritans said they were the true remnants of the northernmost tribes of Israel. The Jews said the Samaritans were half-breeds, the offspring of Assyrians and wayward Israelites. You can imagine how they might dislike each other.
So when the Samaritans of this particular village found out that Jesus was headed to Jerusalem (the capitol of Israel), it’s no wonder that they felt triggered. They must have figured this was just the same old “Jewish Supremecist” Rabbi coming through town, and they wanted nothing of it. The invisible structures of the culture (the conflict of origin stories, the history of ethnic name-calling, the economic boy-cutting, etc.) inhibited their ability to connect with Jesus. There were too many assumptions, too much systematic distrust.
Doesn’t that sound a little bit like our world today? Can you see the parallels? And how many times do we miss out on connecting with Jesus because we’ve made assumptions about some other group of people.
Take a few minutes to ponder what God might be saying to you from this simple passage about our culture and about your life.