Luke 9:51-56 – As the time approached for him to be taken up to heaven, Jesus resolutely set out for Jerusalem. And he sent messengers on ahead, who went into a Samaritan village to get things ready for him; but the people there did not welcome him, because he was heading for Jerusalem. When the disciples James and John saw this, they asked, “Lord, do you want us to call fire down from heaven to destroy them?” But Jesus turned and rebuked them, and they went to another village.
After the disciples had been corrected for rebuffing a man who was driving out demons in Jesus’ name, they met up with a situation that provided Jesus with another teaching opportunity. Jesus had resolutely set His course to Jerusalem where He would accomplish our redemption and salvation. It was now the right time to do this, and He set His whole mind, heart and being in that direction! He sent part of the team ahead to prepare His way, but this Samaritan town would not receive Him. Christ Jesus would have been the biggest blessing that ever came to that village, yet, quite rudely, they did not welcome Him. Zealous for Jesus, the Sons of Thunder were ready to call down fire from heaven to destroy these people. In the first case of the man who was driving out demons, they acted with bigotry. Now, in this instance, they would become tyrants who would persecute those who didn’t receive their Lord. Jesus reprimanded them for both attitudes. These are contrary to the plan for salvation and redemption. He would not have them meet rude, unwelcoming attitudes in this manner. Under cover of zeal for their Master, James and John harbored pride, passion and personal revenge toward these people, and Jesus rebuked them.
There is a lesson here for us all when we deal with those who are unwelcoming and rude toward Christ Jesus. Oh how we need the Spirit of Christ in dealing with hard-hearted, rude people! His Spirit in us will empower us to be truly Christian, enabling us to act in grace – not with fire from heaven! Let us not have a disposition contrary to the Gospel, but let us act, understanding that we are no longer under the bondage and tyranny of death, but under the dispensation of life, liberty, grace, peace and good will toward men! Remember that Christ our Lord did not come to DESTROY men’s lives, but to SAVE them! It is not His design to build His kingdom with fire and sword, or by fear and slaughter, but by holy love; by miracles of healing and grace, not by the plagues and destruction that brought Israel out of Egypt! He came to put to death all enmities between God and man, not to foster them! We are destitute of Christ’s Spirit and the power of the Gospel when we force His kingdom upon men with the use of violence, persecution and tyrannical behaviors. Jesus did not punish this town for their rude behavior, but went quietly and peaceably on His way to another village, where they would not be stingy and bigoted. We might learn from Him that, when opposition is strong, it is wise to get out of the way of it rather than to contend with it. If we are met with rudeness and rejection, instead of returning it with revenge, we should see if there are others who will be more civil and receptive.
Thursday: Meet together with at least 1 or 2 other believers to enter the Throne Room of Grace.
Friday: Pray for the Good News families of the week: Taylor Isselhard, Ben & Jen Martin (Emma, Grace, Benjie, Callie, Daniel), Barr & Sherry Miesch.
Saturday: Pray for a heart that seeks the salvation of souls, not their destruction!
Sunday: Commit to seeking the heart and mind of Christ when dealing with hard-hearted and rude people!
Monday: Be thankful that, while you were still a sinner, Christ died for you.
Tuesday: Don’t be afraid to walk away from rude behavior, shake the dust off your feet, and seek for a more receptive audience as you get things ready for Christ to come.
Wednesday: Remember that Christ’s kingdom cannot be forced upon anyone. It is the work of the Holy Spirit of God who does not deal with men according to what their sins deserve!
Prayer Challenge: Remember that – ” God so loved THE WORLD that he gave his one and only Son, that WHOEVER believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life. For God did not send his Son into the world to CONDEMN the world, but to SAVE the world through him. WHOEVER believes in him is not condemned, but WHOEVER does not believe stands condemned already because he has not believed in the name of God’s one and only Son. This is the verdict: Light has come into the world, but men loved darkness instead of light because their deeds were evil. Everyone who does evil hates the light, and will not come into the light for fear that his deeds will be exposed. But WHOEVER lives by the truth comes into the light, so that it may be seen plainly that what he has done has been done through God.”(John 3:16-21)