|Matthew Henry's Concise Commentary|
9:51-56 The disciples did not consider that the conduct of the Samaritans was rather the effect of national prejudices and bigotry, than of enmity to the word and worship of God; and through they refused to receive Christ and his disciples, they did not ill use or injure them, so that the case was widely different from that of Ahaziah and Elijah. Nor were they aware that the gospel dispensation was to be marked by miracles of mercy. But above all, they were ignorant of the prevailing motives of their own hearts, which were pride and carnal ambition. Of this our Lord warned them. It is easy for us to say, Come, see our zeal for the Lord! and to think we are very faithful in his cause, when we are seeking our own objects, and even doing harm instead of good to others.
Verse 53. - And they did not receive him, because his face was as though he would go to Jerusalem. Here the kindly overtures were rejected by the inhabitants of the Samaritan village in question. The reason alleged by them was that this Teacher, who wished to come among them, was on his way up to worship at the rival temple at Jerusalem.
Gill's Exposition of the Entire Bible
And they did not receive him,.... The Ethiopic version reads "them", the messengers; but it should rather seem that they did receive the messengers, and promised them lodging and entertainment; being glad that so great a person would honour them with his presence, hoping that miracles would be done by him, among them; and that he would stay with them, and show some approbation of them, and their worship; but when Christ came in person, with his disciples and the multitude, they would not admit him; the reason follows,
because his face was as though he would go to Jerusalem: by all circumstances, by his words and looks, and gestures; by all that they could see and hear, and learn from him, his determination was to make no stay with them, but proceed on to Jerusalem, after he had took a night's lodging with them, and had refreshed himself and company and therefore they would not receive him: it had been of a long time a controversy between the Jews and Samaritans, which was the right place of worship; whether at the temple at Jerusalem, or whether at their temple on Mount Gerizzim? Now if Christ would have interested himself in this contest, in favour of them, and would have staid with them, and worshipped where they did, they would have gladly received him; but they perceived he was going to Jerusalem, either to keep the feast of "tabernacles" there, or the feast of the dedication of the temple; and if the latter, it must be still more provoking to them, because it showed, that he preferred that temple to theirs: and however, it seems to be on this account that they would not admit him, because he favoured the temple worship at Jerusalem; otherwise his bare going thither, could not give the offence.
Jamieson-Fausset-Brown Bible Commentary
53. did not receive him, because, &c.—The Galileans, in going to the festivals at Jerusalem, usually took the Samaritan route [Josephus, Antiquities, 20.6.1], and yet seem to have met with no such inhospitality. But if they were asked to prepare quarters for the Messiah, in the person of one whose "face was as though He would go to Jerusalem," their national prejudices would be raised at so marked a slight upon their claims. (See on Joh 4:20).
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