Wednesday, September 26, 2012
Fire From Heaven...
Scripture: Luke 9:54-56 (NIV)
"When the disciples James and John saw this, they asked, 'Lord, do you want us to call fire down from heaven to destroy them?' But Jesus turned and rebuked them, and they went to another village."
This is just one example of the many times in Christ's ministry when he encountered opposition.
It is also an indication of how Christ would want his followers to handle opposition in our lives.
God love them. I can absolutely relate to James and John in this one. When someone hurts someone you love, as the Samaritans did Christ in this story, our first instinct is to act in retaliation. I don't know if there is some innate mechanism hard wired into our brains that calls for that kind of response, but I do know that sometimes not acting in retaliation is the most difficult way.
There they were, two of the twelve, the inner circle, his core group...his peeps...two men who had followed him, had listened to his teachings, had given up much to be with him, and evidently it just hadn't been enough to separate them from the world's way of thinking or being. Their first response is not that much different from ours...hurt for hurt...
I mean, sure, calling down fire from heaven is a little drastic, but let's be honest for a second, if we had that kind of power, some folks would be toast.
Paul actually put it on paper in the seque to 1 Corinthians 13, but Jesus lived it every day..."And now, I will show you the most excellent way..." Let us try to do the same.
God of the weak and the strong, when those around us are hurting and we want to reach out in frustration and anger, show us once again the most excellent way. Teach us to live as you lived, to love as you loved, and to remember that you have called us to be different. Amen.