“When the disciples James and John saw this, they asked, “Lord, do you want us to call fire down from heaven to destroy them?” (Luke 9:54)
I’ve got to be honest with you: This is sometimes my default response when things don’t go my way. In this passage, a village refused Jesus entrance. They rejected him.
So James and John get offended for Jesus. You’ve heard the old saying about a “woman scorned.” She’s less scary than an offended, over-religious person (my kids use the tongue-in-cheek phrase “over-saved”). After all, this village rejected JESUS – so God’s obviously on OUR side! On top of this, there’s biblical precedent for calling fire from heaven (Sodom and Gomorrah, Elijah did it twice!). And besides, the village in question was Samaritan!
As we’re called to walk as “children of light” and “expose the darkness,” it is tempting to join the likes of James and John in our battle against darkness. We might not call literal fire from heaven, but we can be just as violent with our words or Tweets or cold shoulders.
But Jesus will have none of it.
As we’ll see Sunday, Jesus rebukes James and John. He upbraids them for their fleshly, emotional response, but also because they don’t understand the message of the gospel itself. “For the Son of Man did not come to destroy men’s lives, but to save them.” And they went on to another village.” (Luke 9:56, NASB95)
We’ve got some lessons to learn from the Lord if we are going to be light in a dark world…lessons about taking offense (shouldn’t), using the Bible as a weapon (shouldn’t), understanding our true motives (should), and about the nature of the gospel.
If you are light in a dark world, you will face rejection. Are you ready for it? Do you know how to handle it? Join us Sunday and we’ll talk about it.
See you then!