2019 Advent Devo: Jesus Is So Easy to Resist

Luke chapter 9 is filled with positive highlights of Jesus’ ministry and teachable moments for the disciples and for us.  Jesus sends out the disciples with power to teach and to heal, Jesus feeds five thousand, Peter recognizes Jesus’ divinity, Jesus shows his divine nature in the transfiguration and “everyone was marveling at all that Jesus did” (vs 43).  Luke is communicating how compelling a person that Jesus is – thousands come to hear him preach, he can provide food and healing himself and through others. Over and over we see Jesus being glorified in these stories. But, then in verse 51, that all comes to a screeching halt when Jesus wants to make a pit stop in a Samaritan village.

Of course, we know the Samaritans were generally looked down upon by Jews as not “real” Israelites despite living in their country.  Did the Samaritans view this snub of the famous Jesus as some form of pay back disguised with the rationale of not wanting Jesus to become “unclean” while he was heading toward Jerusalem?  We won’t ever know what the Samaritans were thinking, but it was clear that Jesus was affected by the resistance – to the point that the disciples offered to destroy the people via divine retribution!  Of course, Jesus love for people prevailed over any disappointment or anger as he simply moved on.

The reaction of the Samaritans baffles me.  All Jesus ever wanted to do, and still wants to do, is to bless people, to save people from evil, and to offer abundant life.  But, looking back on my own life, I have treated Jesus the same way. I don’t have some rebellious position to stand on, although some people do.  I always had good rationale why Jesus’ way was not right for me at this time, convenient for me at that time, nor desired by me because of the sacrifice I must make to honor him and welcome him in my heart.  Resisting Jesus simply required me to stiffen my neck instead of bowing in servitude, harden my heart instead of obeying, and distract myself instead of repenting. Jesus quietly moved on. It is so easy.

What I don’t see clearly is how it affects Jesus when I do this.  Is he as disappointed in me as he was in the Samaritans? I have to believe that he is, but still loves me more than he wants to destroy me.  He didn’t leave his position at the right hand of God to come to this earth, be born to humble circumstances, live a life devoted to serving God and laying down his life for me on the cross because he wants to destroy me.  Regardless of how I treat him on a particular day, he is faithful to his nature of wanting to bless me. All he asks is that I welcome him into my life and allow him to be sovereign over my will and actions.

Share with me today in a decision to welcome Jesus instead of resist, to beg for his presence and healing in our lives.  John 14:23 promises he will make his home with us if we love him and keep his word. Isaiah 57:15 tells us that God “lives in a high and holy place, but also with him who is contrite and lowly in spirit”.   Let’s humbly and gladly welcome our King of Kings and Lord of Lords in to every part of our lives today and every day!

You are loved!
Don Keefer