Luke 9

I. For or against Jesus

  • Why did Jesus allow a non-discipline using his name? (Luke 9:49-50; Acts 18:24-26)

  • Why did Jesus say "he is not with me is against me" later? (Luke 11:23)

II. Samaritans

What are Samaritans? Why did Jesus tolerate the rejection by Samaritans? (Luke 9:51-55)

A. Origin

  • After King Solomon, Israel spilt into the northern and southern kingdom (Judah). Omri, the sixth king of the northern kingdom founded his new capital in Samaria. During the latter period Samaria symbolized the entire northern kingdom.

  • Assyria conquered Samaria in 722 or 721 BC. The Assyrians deported about 27,000 Israelites and resettled their conquered peoples from Syria and Mesopotamia there. In the course of time the immigrants merged with the Israelites left behind, blending their culture and religions. Their descendants became Samaritans.

B. Built-up of hostility

  • Babylon conquered the southern kingdom and captured Israelites away from their homeland in 597 BC. Later Persia emerged as the new power of the middle east and made Samaria a Persian province. After the Babylonian exile, Jews were allowed to return to Judah and rebuild the temple. The Samaritans sought a share in the rebuilding of the temple in Jerusalem, but were firmly rejected by the Jews (Ezra: 4). Samaritans then tried to obstruct the rebuilding of the walls of Jerusalem by Nehemiah. This was the start of hostility between the two peoples.

  • Alexander the Great conquered Samaria around 330 BC. The Samaritans constructed a temple to rival Jerusalem's on Mount Gerizim.

  • Around 6-9 AD, some Samaritans intruded and polluted the Jerusalem temple by scattering human bones there. Samaritans were thereafter excluded from the service.

  • The Old Testament is a Jerusalem collection, which is hostile to the north. In the New Testament, Samaritans were portrayed as a better image (Luke 10: 30-37; 17: 11-17; John 4: 4-26). Probably Stephen was of Samaritan origin.

C. Beliefs and Customs

  • Today Samaritans still regard Mount Gerizim as their holy mountain as opposed to Mount Zion.

  • Samaritans saw themselves as the pure descendants of the northern kingdom.

  • They claim their form of Judaism is far purer and closer to the original religion of Israel than that of the Jews.

  • The Samaritans are now a very small community, numbering only 530 in 1987. Because they marry only among themselves, they suffer from genetically-related disorders.