In Luke 9:51, as the days drew near when he would be taken up, he set his face toward Jerusalem. In Jerusalem, Jesus would accomplish his exodus of which he spoke with Moses and Elijah at his Transfiguration (Luke 9:31). He is referring to his ascension to the right hand of the Father. His ascension marks the end, the goal of Luke’s Gospel and begins the story of the church. However, on the way to his ascension he must be delivered into the hands of men who will execute him (Luke 9:44).
When Jesus makes his exodus he promises to return and take his disciples with him when he returns in his glory.
But along the way to Jerusalem they encounter a Samaritan village which refuses to receive him because he was going to Jerusalem (Luke 9:52). The village refuses the request of Jesus’ messengers to give them overnight accommodations. John and James volunteer to call a bit of fire from heaven. They are looking to emulate the prophet Elijah and John the Baptist’s preaching about the wrath to come.
But Jesus is taking the long view. He sees in the future the story of the Good Samaritan and the Samaritan leper who alone will return to give him thanks for healing. In Acts 1:8 Jesus speaks of the gospel going out to Samaria and most of Acts 8 and 9:31 tells what happens after the church goes to Samaria with the good news of Jesus.
One does wonder when we come to Luke 10:1 whether some of the seventy – two Jesus sent out were sent to Samaria, since that is also where he intended to go.
At Jesus birth the heavenly host sang of peace on earth and that peace would fall on all with whom God was pleased. It was Jesus purpose in coming that through his death, resurrection and ascension he would make everyone pleasing to him.