Light in the Darkness, the Rev. David Grey

“As the time approached for him to be taken up to heaven, Jesus resolutely set out for Jerusalem.  And he sent messengers on ahead, who went into a Samaritan village to get things ready for him;  but the people there did not welcome him, because he was heading for Jerusalem.  When the disciples James and John saw this, they asked, “Lord, do you want us to call fire down from heaven to destroy them?” Jesus turned and rebuked them, and they went to another village.” Luke 9:51-54

These are the same James and John that Jesus had nicknamed  “Sons of Thunder” and here we find them asking if they should call down lightening from heaven to destroy these people for refusing to welcome the Savior.

Whatever possessed these two men to think that Jesus would want that? After all, he had long ago taught them what to do when they entered a town that refused their message.

“Whatever town or village you enter, search for some worthy person there and stay at his house until you leave.  As you enter the home, give it your greeting.  If the home is deserving, let your peace rest on it; if it is not, let your peace return to you.  If anyone will not welcome you or listen to your words, shake the dust off your feet when you leave that home or town.” (Matthew 10).

Indeed, that is precisely what Jesus did in this Samaritan village. So why might they think Jesus would want to destroy them?

The answer probably lies in the manner that rabbis taught their disciples in that day and in something else Jesus had said in the very next verse in Matthew 10.  The disciples were expected to anticipate the deeper meaning of words spoken by their rabbi. They were expected to think, question and endeavor to draw intelligent conclusions from the various teachings.

In the next verse in Matthew, after telling them to shake the dust from their feet and leave town, Jesus had said, “I tell you the truth, it will be more bearable for Sodom and Gomorrah on the day of judgment than for that town.”

I can almost hear these two Sons of Thunder trying to extrapolate what Jesus intended and saying, “By Jove, I think we’ve got it!”

We think he wants us to be instruments of judgment on this town, and so they ask the question, “Lord, do you want us to call fire down from heaven to destroy them?”

But instead of praise, or even a mild correction, they receive a rebuke. Ouch!  They had either  missed or completely forgotten that the Son of Man did not come to destroy but to, “to seek and to save what was lost.”   (Luke 19:10)

Pastor David M. Grey

Mt. Pleasant United Methodist Church

“As the time approached for him to be taken up to heaven, Jesus resolutely set out for Jerusalem.  And he sent messengers on ahead, who went into a Samaritan village to get things ready for him;  but the people there did not welcome him, because he was heading for Jerusalem.  When the disciples James and John saw this, they asked, “Lord, do you want us to call fire down from heaven to destroy them?” Jesus turned and rebuked them, and they went to another village.” Luke 9:51-54

These are the same James and John that Jesus had nicknamed  “Sons of Thunder” and here we find them asking if they should call down lightening from heaven to destroy these people for refusing to welcome the Savior.

Whatever possessed these two men to think that Jesus would want that? After all, he had long ago taught them what to do when they entered a town that refused their message.

“Whatever town or village you enter, search for some worthy person there and stay at his house until you leave.  As you enter the home, give it your greeting.  If the home is deserving, let your peace rest on it; if it is not, let your peace return to you.  If anyone will not welcome you or listen to your words, shake the dust off your feet when you leave that home or town.” (Matthew 10).

Indeed, that is precisely what Jesus did in this Samaritan village. So why might they think Jesus would want to destroy them?

The answer probably lies in the manner that rabbis taught their disciples in that day and in something else Jesus had said in the very next verse in Matthew 10.  The disciples were expected to anticipate the deeper meaning of words spoken by their rabbi. They were expected to think, question and endeavor to draw intelligent conclusions from the various teachings.

In the next verse in Matthew, after telling them to shake the dust from their feet and leave town, Jesus had said, “I tell you the truth, it will be more bearable for Sodom and Gomorrah on the day of judgment than for that town.”

I can almost hear these two Sons of Thunder trying to extrapolate what Jesus intended and saying, “By Jove, I think we’ve got it!”

We think he wants us to be instruments of judgment on this town, and so they ask the question, “Lord, do you want us to call fire down from heaven to destroy them?”

But instead of praise, or even a mild correction, they receive a rebuke. Ouch!  They had either  missed or completely forgotten that the Son of Man did not come to destroy but to, “to seek and to save what was lost.”   (Luke 19:10)

Pastor David M. Grey

Mt. Pleasant United Methodist Church

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