Today we are going to focus on being focused. In Luke’s gospel, we see that a couple of Christ’s disciples had a particularly nasty attitude toward a Samaritan village.
Now it came to pass, when the time had come for Him to be received up, that He steadfastly set His face to go to Jerusalem, and sent messengers before His face. And as they went, they entered a village of the Samaritans, to prepare for Him. But they did not receive Him, because His face was set for the journey to Jerusalem. And when His disciples James and John saw this, they said, “Lord, do You want us to command fire to come down from heaven and consume them, just as Elijah did?” But He turned and rebuked them, and said, “You do not know what manner of spirit you are of. For the Son of Man did not come to destroy men’s lives but to save them.” And they went to another village. (Luke 9:51-56)
Notice the response to the Samaritans that James and John gave – desiring that fire would rain down on the people because they felt that the Messiah had been insulted. Now consider Christ’s response. Not only did He rebuke their inconsideration but made it clear that He had come to save men, not destroy them. And because He chose to remain true to His objective, He simply went to another village. In other words, He did not allow people’s words and actions to deter Him from His mission. He set His face to go to Jerusalem.
While it is important to profess the Messiah and follow Him by keeping His commands and instructions, it is just as important to do so the way He did it. If He did not let people deter Him or distract Him from doing the Father’s will, why should we?
We could make the argument that, because He came to save men’s lives, it was important that He not allow the Samaritans to deter Him. They could not have the opportunity to be saved if He did not set His face to go up to Jerusalem. Likewise, we should remain focused upon the things that the Father has set before us to do. Notice what happened just after this exchange:
Now it happened as they journeyed on the road, that someone said to Him, “Lord, I will follow You wherever You go.” And Jesus said to him, “Foxes have holes and birds of the air have nests, but the Son of Man has nowhere to lay His head.” Then He said to another, “Follow Me.” But he said, “Lord, let me first go and bury my father.” Jesus said to him, “Let the dead bury their own dead, but you go and preach the kingdom of God.” And another also said, “Lord, I will follow You, but let me first go and bid them farewell who are at my house.” But Jesus said to him, “No one, having put his hand to the plow, and looking back, is fit for the kingdom of God.” (Luke 9:57-62)
The season for our purpose will come very quickly, and once that opportunity has passed, we may never see it again. Therefore, we must resist the inclination to let our current circumstances or the words and actions of others to deter us. Our objective must be to stay on the road He has established for us and, like Him, set our face to go up to our Jerusalem. If we are to come into our purpose, we must not be deterred or distracted by the actions of others. Consider this—Christ walked this earth for over 30 years, but He fulfilled His purpose in just three days. Be ready! Stay focused.