“When the disciples James and John saw this (the people of a Samaritan village rejecting Jesus), 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.” (Luke 9:54-56)
James and John had a long way to go to think like Jesus. If they were going to pattern their life after His it was going to take a real makeover. Are James and John like us? Is our first response to judge and punish? That is the way of the world and a force to be reckoned with. Maybe the best commentary on this is from some manuscripts that add, “And he said, ‘You do not know what kind of spirit you are of, for the Son of Man did not come to destroy men’s lives, but to save them.’” What kind of spirit are we of?
As we go through life and our faith in Jesus is tested, are we able to turn the cheek and turn away wrath with a quiet voice? That is difficult for all of us and we need the Lord’s help as much as His first disciples did. What kind of spirit do we have is the big question of life? What kind of spirit do we want to have? Jesus challenges us to look at the world much differently than we naturally do. Can we take what the world dishes out because we have the spirit of Jesus to see things differently? Can we live a life that is merciful?
Heavenly Father, how far we fall from the spirit of Jesus. We need Your constant work upon our lives to make us over into followers of Jesus with His mind. Continue to fill us with Your Spirit to accomplish this remodeling. All to Your glory. In Jesus’ name. Amen.
Pastor Robert Forsberg is retired from Light of Christ Lutheran Church in Fairborn.