IV. Jerusalem Journey: Jewish Rejection and the New Way (9:51-19:44)

Localities in Luke 9:51-19:44

Bethany

10:38; 19:29

Bethphage

19:29, 30

Bethsaida

10:13

Capernaum

10:15

Chorazin

10:13

Galilee

13:1, 2; 17:11

Jericho

10:30; 18:35; 19:1

Jerusalem

9:51, 53; 10:30; 13:4, 22, 33, 34; 17:11; 18:31; 19:11, 28, 41

Nazareth

18:37

Nineveh

11:30, 32

Olives, Mount of

19:29, 37

Samaria

9:52; 10:33; 17:11, 16

Sidon

10:13, 14

Siloam

13:4

Sodom

10:12; 17:29

Tyre

10:13, 14

Jesus’ visit to a Samaritan village in Luke 9:51-56 begins Luke’s lengthiest section, comprising almost 37 percent of the Gospel (424 of 1,151 verses). Most of this section is unique to Luke, containing many pericopes and parables that are found only in his Gospel. In addition, Luke emphasizes Jesus’ journey in a way the other Gospels do not.

The section has been called “journey to Jerusalem” (Fitzmyer 1981: 823), “travel narrative” (Arndt 1956: 271; Huck and Lietzmann 1936: 112), and “central section” (Ellis 1974: 148). It starts at 9:51, but its end point is debated:

End of Central Section

Adherents

18:14

Luce 1933: 194; Hendriksen 1978: 531; Klostermann 1929: 110

18:30

Lagrange 1921: xxxviii; Feine 1922: 421

18:34

Blomberg 1983: 245; Nolland 1993a: 531

19:10

Marshall 1978: 400

19:27

Fitzmyer 1985: 1242; Schürmann 1994: 1; most commentators (cf. Miyoshi 1974: 1; Resseguie 1975: 3 n. 2)

19:40/41

Morganthaler 1948: 1.170; W. Robinson 1964: 22-23

19:44

Ellis 1974: 146

19:48

Egelkraut 1976: 10

The break should not be placed earlier than 19:41, which mentions that Jesus was drawing near the city. Against a break at 18:34 is the continuation of the journey toward Jerusalem, including the increasing specific notes of location after this verse (against Nolland 1993a: 529). Most treat 19:28 as noting the arrival, but it is really a transition, given 19:41. In other words, at this point Jesus is not yet in Jerusalem. Against 19:48 is the temple milieu of 19:45-48, where Jesus is clearly in the city. Thus, 19:44 seems to the best candidate, especially since Jerusalem is clearly set as the goal of the journey (9:51, 53; 13:22; 17:11; 18:31-34; 19:28). Regardless of where between 19:27 and 19:44 the break is placed, 19:28-44 serves as a bridge into the final ministry events in Jerusalem. The journey prepares for this decisive moment in Jesus’ career. All the tension of Luke 9-19 is resolved in the reality of the cross, and Jesus prepares his disciples for that approaching reality.

The material in 9:51-19:44 has several distinguishing characteristics: