Luke uniquely said that Jesus entered Jericho (Καὶ εἰσελθὼν…τὴν Ἱερειχώ), but that he was only passing through (διήρχετο), not staying there. Jericho was an important customs center on a main trading route, about 16 miles northeast of Jerusalem. Just as Luke had Jesus cure the blind man while on his way into Jericho, now Luke had Jesus enter Jericho on his way to Jerusalem. What do you know about walls of Jericho?
Now there was a note of discord here. Luke continued his unique story of Jesus traveling through Samaria, on his way to Jerusalem. Luke noted that the people of this Samaritan town did not want to receive Jesus (καὶ οὐκ ἐδέξαντο αὐτόν), because he was only passing by on his way to Jerusalem (εἰς Ἱερουσαλήμ). These Samaritans did not look favorably on the Jerusalem pilgrims who passed by their towns on the way to the Temple. After all, Jesus had steadfastly set his face (ὅτι τὸ πρόσωπον αὐτοῦ ἦν πορευόμενον) to go there, not stopping or staying to worship at Mount Gerizim in Samaria. Thus, Jesus was not welcome, if he was going to the Judean place of worship in Jerusalem, and just visiting or passing through here. Would you be upset if someone said that they were planning to visit someone else but just stopped by?
Luke uniquely said that these Jewish elders continued praising this centurion, who loved the Jewish people, their people (ἀγαπᾷ γὰρ τὸ ἔθνος ἡμῶν). He had built a synagogue for them (καὶ τὴν συναγωγὴν αὐτὸς ᾠκοδόμησεν ἡμῖν). There were many instances of Roman soldiers adopting the religious practices of the people where they were staying. However, building a synagogue seems a bit much. It may have led to better community relations. Although he was not Jewish, this centurion had been very favorable to the Jewish people by helping them build a new synagogue. There was no mention of this synagogue in the Matthew story about the centurion. Would you be favorable to a religion not your own?
Both Matthew, chapter 21:1, and Luke, chapter 19:29, are almost word for word to what is here. Mark said that when they got near to Jerusalem (Καὶ ὅτε ἐγγίζουσιν εἰς Ἱεροσόλυμα), Jesus then sent out two of his disciples (ἀποστέλλει δύο τῶν μαθητῶν αὐτοῦ). They were staying at Bethphage (εἰς Βηθφαγὴ), a village on the way from Jericho to Jerusalem, and Bethany (καὶ Βηθανίαν), about a mile and a half east of Jerusalem. near the Mount of Olives (πρὸς τὸ ὄρος τῶν Ἐλαιῶν), not far from Jerusalem.
Καὶ ὅτε ἤγγισαν εἰς Ἱεροσόλυμα καὶ ἦλθον εἰς Βηθφαγὴ εἰς τὸ ὄρος τῶν Ἐλαιῶν, τότε Ἰησοῦς ἀπέστειλεν δύο μαθητὰς
Both Mark, chapter 11:1, and Luke, chapter 19:29, are almost word for word to what is here in Matthew. Thus, when they got near to Jerusalem (Καὶ ὅτε ἤγγισαν εἰς Ἱεροσόλυμα), Jesus then sent out two of his disciples (τότε Ἰησοῦς ἀπέστειλεν δύο μαθητὰς). They were staying at Bethphage (καὶ ἦλθον εἰς Βηθφαγὴ), a village on the way from Jericho to Jerusalem, near the Mount of Olives (εἰς τὸ ὄρος τῶν Ἐλαιῶν), not far from Jerusalem.