Sunday, May 29, 2016

Luke 9:51-56

Luke 9:51-56
And it became in His days to be received, He set His face firmly to travel into Jerusalem.  And He send out messengers before His presence.  And after traveling, they entered into a Samaritan city so as to make preparations for Him.  And they did not receive Him, because His presence was traveling into Jerusalem.  And after the disciples James and John saw this they said, “Do you desire that we should speak fire to come down from heaven and to consume them?”  And after turning back He rebuked them.  And they travelled into another town.

Thoughts for Today

First Thought:

Jesus begins the march towards Jerusalem.  The beginning of the end has come – and we’re only in chapter 9!  Jesus is prepared.  The disciples can be prepared the rest of the way in what time remains.  But as Jesus heads towards Jerusalem, this Samaritan village doesn’t receive Him.  They don’t receive Him because He is a Jew headed to Jerusalem.    This is a highly symbolic story.  As Jesus goes to the cross, we know that the crowd of Jews and their leaders will reject Him.  But as we see here in this story, the leaders of the world reject Him, too.

Where do you see the rejection of Jesus in the world around you?  How do you resist that element of humanity?

Second Thought:

I love the humanity that we see here in James and John.  They want to defend Jesus’ honor.  They want to whip people into shape.  They puff up in bravado.  But have you ever thought about their request?  Where in the Bible have we ever seen a disciple call down fire from heaven?  Where have we ever seen Jesus do it?  I’m not saying Jesus couldn’t do it; I’m saying that it is a totally inappropriate response.  I love that the disciples want to defend Jesus.  But their thoughts are misguided.  They start is a reasonable place and quickly go into the unreasonable.

Have you ever spent time condemning people?  Is that your place? 

Third Thought:

Jesus moves on.  This is a simple thought.  It is easily overlooked.  Do you notice the incredible lack of negative response on Jesus’ benefit?  Jesus doesn’t feel the need to condemn them!  God will take care of that in due time.  If these people are deserving of condemnation, God will do it.  If they aren’t deserving of condemnation, then Jesus certainly doesn’t want to go against God!  The point s, Jesus came here to act and encourage people to draw close to the Father.  He will leave the condemnation to the Father.  People have a right to make up their own mind.  Jesus moves on to those who will receive Him.

Why can Jesus move on in this story rather than bring down fire as the disciples desire?  How can you learn to imitate Christ in this regard?


Passage for Tomorrow: Luke 9:57-62
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