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Today’s Reading: Luke 9:49-62
49 John answered, “Master, we saw a man casting out demons in your name, and we forbade him, because he does not follow with us.” 50 But Jesus said to him, “Do not forbid him; for he that is not against you is for you.”
51 When the days drew near for him to be received up, he set his face to go to Jerusalem. 52 And he sent messengers ahead of him, who went and entered a village of the Samaritans, to make ready for him; 53 but the people would not receive him, because his face was set toward Jerusalem. 54 And when his disciples James and John saw it, they said, “Lord, do you want us to bid fire come down from heaven and consume them?” 55 But he turned and rebuked them. 56 And they went on to another village.
57 As they were going along the road, a man said to him, “I will follow you wherever you go.” 58 And Jesus said to him, “Foxes have holes, and birds of the air have nests; but the Son of man has nowhere to lay his head.” 59 To another he said, “Follow me.” But he said, “Lord, let me first go and bury my father.” 60 But he said to him, “Leave the dead to bury their own dead; but as for you, go andproclaim the kingdom of God.” 61Another said, “I will follow you, Lord; but let me first say farewell to those at my home.” 62 Jesus said to him, “No one who puts his hand to the plow and looks back is fit for the kingdom of God.”
to be received up: A reference to Jesus’ Ascension. Jewish tradition holds that both Moses and Elijah were assumed into heaven and that both imparted a share of their spirit to their successors (Deut 34:9; 2 Kings 2:9- 15). Jesus will likewise ascend into glory and pour out his Spirit upon his followers (Acts 1:8-9).
set his face to go: Jesus now begins a long journey to Jerusalem. When he arrives, he will denounce the city for rejecting his message. Luke describes Jesus’ resolution in terms that recall how Yahweh commissioned the prophets Jeremiah and Ezekiel to preach against Jerusalem for its corruption (Jer 21:10; Ezek 21:2).