Monday, April 10, 2017

Not His Target

James the son of Zebedee and John the brother of James, to whom He gave the name Boanerges, that is, “Sons of Thunder” Mark 3:17

But they did not receive Him, because His face was set for the journey to Jerusalem. And when His disciples James and John saw this, they said, “Lord, do You want us to command fire to come down from heaven and consume them, just as Elijah did?” But He turned and rebuked them, and said, “You do not know what manner of spirit you are of. For the Son of Man did not come to destroy men’s lives but to save them.” And they went to another village. Luke 9:53-56

"And they went to another village.." Hopefully that village didn't hear what almost happened to this Samaritan village. For Jesus did not deny that James and John could do this thing, but instead rebuked them for even thinking it. The brothers likely thought they were serving the King of kings and were ready to punish with death anyone who disrespected Him. However, Jesus reminds them of His mission which is to save and not destroy.

I am so very glad that God has not given me the ability to destroy a town. Imagine a million Christians with this sort of power. We would be worse than any natural catastrophe, probably worse than a nuclear war. It's the old convert to my belief or die choice that Jesus did not preach. (His message is that you are already dead in your sins, believe in the Son of God and have eternal life.) The brothers never brought it up again and John went on to write a loving gospel.

As for the Samaritan village, we can give them a break too. They saw the Son of God with His face set. They were it seems much more aware of Jesus and who He was (is!) than their Jewish cousins. What they saw was a thunderstorm approaching complete with lightning and F5 tornado. They didn't want any part of that. What they didn't realize, because they would not receive Him, was that they were not His target. In His mercy, Jesus stopped the destruction of their village by His thunderous followers and went to stay in another place. We will run into people who fear the storm too, and they may well see it in our face. The words of the Revelation are not comfortable for those who still believe in this world and its powers. Be gentle and loving with them. Trust Jesus to save them.

Happy Passion Week!

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