Jesus informed His disciples that He would be undergoing a baptism by fire– That He was constrained until this was accomplished. His disciples didnt know the full import of what He was telling them, but He knew that His trials, temptations, and contrasts would be escalating at a greater pace the nearer He came to the reason why He incarnated on this Earth– as the Father’s sacrifice for mankind. He knew that the closer He came to Jerusalem’s gates, the greater these contrasts, would be for Him, yet He did not consider His comfort level- His desire to accomplish the Fathers’ Will outweighed any consideration for Himself. He knew He would experience much friction until that time was complete, and what was most painful for Him was not the physical wounds he experienced upon His death and final sacrifice, but the wounds in His heart that came from His friends.
Beginning His journey to Jerusalem, one could see His determination in reaching that city- the city that hated Him and stoned and murdered all the prophets before Him. Nearby was Samaria, and Jesus had a special place in His heart for the Samaritans- who were also despised by Jerusalem and all Jewish people in general. They always received Him but today would be different. As He entered the outskirts of their towns with His disciples, He was met by some of the townspeople who had discovered that He was on His way to Jerusalem. Feeling offended, they told Him that if this was the case, there was no place for Him in their city that day. The scriptures say that Jesus’s face was “Set toward Jerusalem” . Little did the Samaritans realize that His intent on going to Jerusalem was not to mingle with the religious elite, but to suffer. This would be the last trip to Jerusalem for Him, and the last time the Samaritans would see Him before His cruel execution. Jesus did not explain Himself– He never defended Himself. His disciples knew this about Him, so James and John asked Him if THEY could , at least, ask the Father to send fire down from Heaven to consume them. They were incensed at the villagers sudden rudeness. Traveling on foot from city to city was very tiresome in the arid heat of that climate. The disciples and Jesus were hungry and tired only to be turned away. His disciples were more than irritated at the Samaritans not only for themselves, but for Jesus’s sake, seeing the petty response of the Samaritans to thier Lord who they knew loved them. Jesus, while feeling the hurt of rejection from those He considered His friends, rebuked His disciples for their violent request. “you do not know of what manner of spirit you are of, for the Son of Man came not to destroy men’s lives but to save them.” He told them. Without holding any resentment, He quietly moved on with His disciples to another village.
Centuries earlier, we recall when king David was being mocked and cursed by Shimei. His men wanted to kill Shimei, but David refused and told them that it could be that God was behind Shimei cursing at him that day–as a form of retributive suffering. Many times Saul sought to kill David but David would find Saul beforehand and intentionally spare his life where Saul would have murdered him. David was a king– annointed by God- yet a king in exile just as Jesus, the Son of David is also a King -and one in Exile as well. David was always on the move as Jesus was, evading his enemies attempts at his life before his throne was fully established. Saul was the people’s choice as king but he was not God’s choice. Saul actually represents satan and David represents Jesus in that Jesus Christ our rightful King , remains in exile while satan presently rules this World. David was annointed by God as rightful king but until Saul remained king, David remained in exile until God’s time. Until the Father’s work of preperation , shakings, knock downs and ruins of this World system is accomplished on this Earth as well as within us, Jesus remains our King in Exile . After the Father’s work of preperation and restoration is complete, and satan ousted from this Earth, Jesus’s Kingdom reign on this Earth will be established. What a beautiful Day that will be!
After Jesus’s rejection by the Samaritans and His continued journey to another village, a man ran up to Him and exclaimed, “Master, I will follow You wherever You go!” Jesus looked at Him with that kind of seeing that looks right into a persons’ heart, and replied, “Foxes have holes and birds of the air have nests, but the Son of Man has nowhere to lay His head.” Jesus was telling him He could not promise him comfort, so before he would make such an intense promise like that, he must count the cost. How true Jesus had literally no place to lay His head! From the very beginning of His incarnation He was never accepted — even when Mary was carrying Him in her womb, the innkeeper had no room for her or Joseph so she gave birth to Him in a stable. That day’s rejection by the Samaritans further reveals this fact and was one of countless times He was not well received. His own townsfolk of Nazareth tried to push Him off of a ledge when He spoke in their synagogue at the start of His ministry.
Jesus was often on the move throughout His ministry, to avoid those who wanted to kill Him before His Father’s time. Often He would slip right through crowds who intended to stone Him to death. King David also was on the move with his men before His reign was established as Saul was constantly seeking to kill him. Both king David and our King in Exile, Jesus Christ, literally never had any place to lay their heads. It was also not uncommon for Jesus and His disciples to sleep outside on the grass many nights. One can imagine Martha and Mary making a point to make things comfortable for He and His disciples whenever He was teaching in their area of Bethany. Knowing that He travelled miles on foot and slept outside or on fishing boats, they ,no doubt, wanted to make sure He had some hospitality when He was with them.
Times have not changed for our King- To this day He is not received in the hearts of many , much less those who call Him “Lord”. He , who never refuses anyone who comes to Him is often refused by many. Like Mary, Martha, Lazarus,His disciples and the few others that did embrace Him into their lives before His crucifixion, in every age there is, always a remnant that DO keep their hearts open for Him. They, too, share in His reproach, and they are willing to drink from His Cup of sufferings. His heart continues to suffer wounds each time His remnant suffers, and each time those who go by His name deny or turn away from Him. May we allow our King in Exile to make us a part of His Remnant that stand by Him when the majority turns away.