Luke 9:52–53—Did the Samaritans receive Christ or reject Him?

Problem: Luke says clearly that “they did not receive Him.” Yet, when Jesus spoke to the Samaritan woman at the well, a great multitude flocked to meet Him (John 4:39–40).

Solution: These passages refer to different times and different places. First of all, Luke is speaking of a specific village, not all Samaritans. Further, Luke gives the reason for the rejection at this time, “because His [Jesus’] face was set for the journey to Jerusalem” (_. 53). Finally, the positive response of the Samaritans in John was because of the testimony of the woman who told her friends that she had found a prophet, one “who told me all things that I ever did” (John 4:29).

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This excerpt is from When Critics Ask: A Popular Handbook on Bible Difficulties (Wheaton, Ill.: Victor Books, 1992). © 2014 Norman Geisler and Thomas Howe. All rights reserved. Used by permission. Click here to purchase this book.