Summary: This sermon looks at the impact hatred and anger have in our lives, the Lord’s response, and how Jesus can transform us from Hatred and Anger to Love and Self-Control.
A young boy was walking with his friend when out of nowhere a giant Rottweiler dog jumped out from behind a fence and began to pounce on one of the young boys. His friend bravely grabbed a 2x4 and smacked the dog on the head and then managed to wrap the broken chain from the dog’s leash around the dog’s neck and chocked the dog to death, saving his young friend’s life. While all this was taking place, a newspaper reporter had witnessed the whole thing and ran over to the young men and said, “That was amazing, I want to write tomorrow’s front-page headline about this…and the boy’s watched as the man scribbled… Young Bulldog fan saves friend from vicious dog. The boy stopped him and said, “Sir, I’m sorry but I’m not a bulldog fan.” The reporter looked at him strangely then he said, ‘Oh that’s fine, let me rewrite this…Young Ole Miss fan saves friend from vicious dog. Again the young boy interrupted. “Sir, I’m sorry but that’s not true…I’m not a Rebel fan either.”
The reporter looked at him oddly and said, “Well son, I’m sorry. This is Mississippi and I thought every young boy was either a State fan or a Ole Miss fan. What are you, a Southern Miss fan?” The young boy said, “No sir, actually I’m an Alabama fan…Roll Tide.” The reporter said, “Oh, you’re one of them.” He then rewrote the headline for the next day which read… “Spoiled little brat murders precious family pet.”
You know, its amazing how much hatred one can have of another person simply because of the differences that person may have. It’s a far gone conclusion that not everybody agrees on certain issues, on which teams to root for, which positions to support, but what is increasingly disturbing is the level of hatred that people have for those who disagree with them. In a Newsmax.com article from March of this year, the author stated that the 2004 Presidential election may be the nastiest in history. The author stated that what separates this election is the level of hatred that both sides have for each other…and he wasn’t speaking about the candidates but rather those who support their candidates. There is now an us against them mentality. If you are with us, we like you…if you’re against us, then we not only hate you, we despise you. From Politics to sports, from race to economics, from Yankees and Southerners, there is an increasingly number of people who are not just filled, but rather consumed by hatred for other people.
And the result has been that with so much hatred, we find that anger is only just a few doors down. Just as self-control is a byproduct of love, anger is a byproduct of hatred. People who are so filled with hate become so angry at the object of that hatred, that in the end violence, chaos, and destruction rule the day.
Now as bad as the hatred that we see today in our political parties, or the hatred that existed between blacks and whites in the 60’s and 70’s, they pale in comparison to that hatred that existed between the Jews and the Samaritans. Today as we look at our text, I want us to see the result of the Samaritans hatred and how Jesus responded to the disciples anger and then how Christ can transform our lives from one of hatred and anger to one of love and self-control. Turn with me to your text once again in Luke 9: 51-56.
Luke 9:51, “As the time approached for him to be taken up to heaven, Jesus resolutely set out for Jerusalem .” Now don’t miss that first verse there. Jesus was determined to head to Jerusalem. He knew what laid ahead. He knew that waiting for Him in Jerusalem was a cross and yet He resolutely set out to Jerusalem. No matter who was tempting Him, no matter who believed or didn’t believe, Jesus was going to the cross.
Now on the way there, Jesus was going to go through Samaria. Whenever a popular rabbi was coming to town, he would send some of his followers into town to get things ready, you know make reservations, speaking engagements, dinner plans and the such, and which Jesus did…but when the people heard He was going to go to Jerusalem, they would not welcome Him. Now why is that?
Well, there was a history that existed between the Samaritians and the Jews. The Samaritans were a mixed race, part Jew and part Gentile, that grew out of the Assyrian captivity. They had disobeyed God and had intermarried with the Gentiles, so thus they were despised as being worse then a gentile. So intense was the Jewish dislike of the Samaritans that some of the Pharisees actually prayed that no Samaritan would be raised in the resurrection! In John 8:48, When His enemies wanted to call Jesus an insulting name, they called Him a Samaritan.