“Lord, do you want us to call down fire from heaven to consume them?” But he turned and rebuked them. - Luke 9:54-55 CSB
Passover was coming. Jesus “resolutely determined to journey to Jerusalem” (Luke 9:51 NABRE). We know what that means, don’t we? He was going to Jerusalem to be handed over to be falsely tried, mocked, beaten, and crucified. He was going to Jerusalem to be the Passover Lamb.
Of course, to His disciples it’s just another Passover celebration. Where would be the best place to celebrate it? Jerusalem! The holy city of David, the designated place of worship where God Himself dwelt in the temple many years ago.
Jesus sends messengers ahead and on their way they enter a Samaritan village. Samaritans were considered “half-breeds” and were despised by the Jews. They had their own religious system, their own Torah, and most deplorably their own place of worship . . . and it was not Jerusalem.
Therefore, when the Samaritans heard that Jesus was only stopping through while on His way to Jerusalem, they would not welcome Him. That was enough to send James and John over the top!
“How dare these half-breeds treat us with such contempt! Lord, do you want us to call down fire from heaven to consume them?” Did Jesus, the One who hushed the wind and sea, need them to defend Him? If He wanted to call down fire from heaven, He could do that Himself! But how does Jesus respond? Jesus “turned and rebuked them.” Why did He rebuke James and John? Because Jesus came to bring life, not death.
We live in a cultural climate that belittles conservative Christians. Do we self-righteously “send down fire from heaven” with our words on those opposing us? May we not lose sight of Jesus and His purpose that the “world might be saved through Him” (John 3:17).
Open Range Fellowship
Lone Jack, Missouri
One-Year Bible Reading
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