Summary: Clearly Jesus is focused and determined here. The Greek highlights this. This passage is a humbling reminder for a culture that wants to fit Jesus into our life rather than build our life on Jesus. Church becomes one of many competing activities instead of the encounter with the living Lord that weekly re-orients our life. The good news? Jesus does not let the rejection of pagans stop him from dying on the cross for them and for us; likewise our lack of focus and prioritization of Jesus does not change his death for us on the cross.
αναλημψεως (meaning "ascension", 9:51) This inclusion of this word is a reminder that the ascension is an integral part of the plan for Jesus.
το προσωπον εστηρισεν ("strengthened his face", 9:51) It is interesting that Luke uses the word face (προσωπου) three times in this three verses. Almost no English translations capture this. Luke wants to give us a visual here. Jesus has set his face toward Jerusalem. His eyes are on the prize!
του ("the" in the genitive, 9:51) Greek can show intention by combining "του" + an infinitive. Greek can also show intention with the preposition "εις" meaning "for." In 9:51 Luke stacks all of this together to create one long sentence of purpose!
ετοιμασαι (meaning "prepare", 9:52) The word prepare shows up frequently in the Gospel of Luke and often at important times:
John the Baptist prepares for John (1:17, 1:76, 3:4)
God's celebration of Jesus birth (Luke 2:31)
Prepare for passover (22:8)
Prepare spices for burial (23:56, 24:1)
προτον ("proton" meaning "first", 9:59,60) The core problems is neither love nor duty with family. However, the key is the word first -- proton. What is first in your life?
A proton is the building block of the periodic table -- of chemistry. It is the foundation upon which every atom exists. In fact, an atom can be stripped on neutrons, even temporarily electrons. But without a proton, an atom, by definition, ceases to exist. What is integral and essential for us today?