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A Harmony of the Gospels for Students of the Life

He went through some portions of Samaria and Galilee


The language of Luke 9:51, "when the days were being completed that he should be received up," implies that the end was drawing near, and that he was setting his face towards Jerusalem to meet it. This is true without doubt, for Wieseler's interpretation of "received up" as meaning Christ's reception by man is entirely too forced. The expression points to the end of Christ's earthly career. But what does the vague expression, "the days were being completed," mean? Does it have to mean only a few weeks? May it not include as much as six months? For we know that Jesus had been instructing his disciples on this very subject expressly and pointedly, and at the Transfiguration he had spoken of his "decease." Henceforward this was the uppermost subject in his mind. So the interpretation is correct, but the inference is not necessary. This journey in Luke 9:51 need not be either just before the Passover or the Dedication. It could be as early as Tabernacles and be thus described.

_(b)_ It is insisted that this is Jesus' final departure from Galilee, the one described by Matthew and Mark. No place is allowed for a return to Galilee after the departure in Luke 9:51. Robinson urges that Luke 9:51 naturally means a final departure from Galilee. But it may simply mean that he left it as a sphere of activity, not that he never entered Galilee again. And then Luke 17:11 expressly says that Jesus went "through the midst of Samaria and Galilee." This means more

than going on the border between the two countries, as McClellan argues. He went through some portions of Samaria and Galilee. In order for McClellan to carry out his scheme he has to resort to the artificial device of referring part of John 10:40 to the departure from Galilee, and the other half to the Perean ministry after a diversion of considerable length into Samaria and back into Galilee. So the effort is not convincing to place all the material in this large section of Luke in one last journey to Jerusalem.

3. The combination of Luke's narrative with that of John. Wieseler was the first to point out a possible parallel between Luke and John. John gives us three journeys,--the Feast of Tabernacles (John 7:2 ff.), the journey to Bethany at the raising of Lazarus (John 11:17 f.), the final Passover (John 12:1). Luke likewise three times in this section speaks of Jesus going to Jerusalem, 9:51; 13:22; 17:11. Hence it would seem possible, even probable, that their journeys corresponded. If so, John 7:2-11:54 is to be taken as parallel to Luke 9:51-18:14. This plan is followed by various modern scholars.

According to John's chronology, Jesus was in Jerusalem at the Feast of Tabernacles (7:2), at the Feast of Dedication (10:22), and at the Passover (12:1). Just after the Feast of the Dedication we find him abiding beyond Jordan, where John had baptized (John 10:40). From this point he comes to Bethany near Jerusalem at the raising of Lazarus (John 11:17), whence he withdraws to a little town called Ephraim in the hills north of Jerusalem (John 11:54). Here he abides awhile with his disciples away from his enemies till he goes to the Passover. Such is John's outline of these last six months of the Saviour's life.

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