Summary: The disciples ‘reacted’ to the behavior of the Samaritans by wanting to harm them: Bad for bad; tit-for-tat. And is it not true of us today too? But what did Jesus say to His disciples and us today about it?
REACTING or RESPONDING?
51 And it came to pass, when the time was come that he should be received up, he stedfastly set his face to go to Jerusalem,
52 And sent messengers before his face: and they went, and entered into a village of the Samaritans, to make ready for him.
53 And they did not receive him, because his face was as though he would go to Jerusalem. 54 And when his disciples James and John saw this, they said, Lord, wilt thou that we command fire to come down from heaven, and consume them, even as Elias did?
55 But he turned, and rebuked them, and said, Ye know not what manner of spirit ye are of.
56 For the Son of man is not come to destroy men's lives, but to save them. And they went to another village.
The Lord’s ‘time’ had come (v51). The end of His earthly ministry had drawn to a close and He was now ready to be offered, as a Sheep to the slaughter (Isaiah 53:7). He would GIVE His life – no one would ‘take it’ from Him (John 10:18).
The people of Samaria didn’t like the Jews very much due to some problems of the past. Nevertheless, the Lord sent ‘messengers’ to prepare a place for Him in the Samaritan village (v52). However, they saw that He was just passing through on the way to Jerusalem (v53) and that bothered them even more, so they refused His request.
HOW DID THE disciples REACT to this situation (v54)? How would we?
In Anger (‘Call down fire’)
With ‘Holy’ anger?
In the anger of the flesh?
The reacted according to how they were treated? And so often we do too. Perhaps we too try to justify our anger by thinking that it is properly placed against the ‘anti-god’ behaviors of others. But, what does it mean to REACT?
It means to ‘retaliate.’ To meet FIRE with FIRE
The disciples ‘reacted’ to the behavior of the Samaritans by wanting to harm them: Bad for bad; tit-for-tat. And is it not true of us today too? But what did Jesus say to His disciples and us today about it?
He rebuked them (v55): They were not in a right spirit
He corrected them (v56): Jesus RESPONDED to the poor behavior of the Samaritans . . . In MEEKNESS (power too …)
Meekness means that the Lord had power to destroy them for their poor behavior but did NOT. An example for us to follow:
Matthew 11:29 ‘… I am meek and lowly in heart …’
Titus 3:2 ‘To speak evil of no man, to be no brawlers, but gentle, shewing all meekness unto all men.’
2Timothy 2:25 ‘In meekness instructing those that oppose themselves …’
Jesus RESPONDED to the poor behavior of the Samaritans . . . In MERCY (authority too …)
Mercy means that the Lord had authority and the right to condemn them for their poor behavior but He did NOT:
Psalm 116:5 ‘Gracious is the LORD, and righteous; yea, our God is merciful.’
The disciples were with the Lord for 3 years but forgot His teaching:
Luke 6:36 ‘Be ye therefore merciful, as your Father also is merciful.’