As the time approached for him to be taken up to heaven, Jesus resolutely set out for Jerusalem. And he sent messengers on ahead, who went into a Samaritan village to get things ready for him; but the people there did not welcome him, because he was heading for Jerusalem. When the disciples James and John saw this, they asked, “Lord, do you want us to call fire down from heaven to destroy them?” But Jesus turned and rebuked them. Then he and his disciples went to another village.
Jesus was preparing to leave the region of Galilee to head to Jerusalem, taking the direct route through Samaria. He sends some disciples ahead to make preparations in a Samaritan village, and the village will not allow Him to stop over in their town.
James and John seem to have a “nuclear option” for that particular village, probably thinking of the life and times of Elijah, but Jesus wasn’t going to battle against flesh and blood; they visited a different village.
Wouldn’t that have caused a stir!
Of course, there would be more opposition to come. On previous trips, people had come out to see Jesus, bringing their sick and lame with them for healing; Luke has not mentioned a community that would refuse to receive Jesus up to this point.
Things were different now. Even so, Jesus would be welcomed in many places on this trip, but there would always be a hint of darkness looming as The Enemy was gearing up to deal with the Jesus Problem. Jesus would discuss this situation further with the disciples as the journey continued, for they needed to realize that there would be a cost in this world for following Him. That discussion begins in the next section here at the end of Chapter 9.