When vengeance is the order of the day, and everyone is claiming to have the voice of moral clarity, when the fight for right and wrong is won in the arena of public opinion, when betrayal and mudslinging are normal, what should the Christian’s attitude be toward those who reject Our God and His Christ? Or even reject us?
In St. Luke’s Gospel, 9:46-56, we find Jesus and His Disciples on their way to Jerusalem, and passing through Samaria, Jesus sent some ahead to make accommodations. When the Samaritans found out their region was not Jesus’ destination, but that He was just passing through on the way to Jerusalem, they would not allow Jesus and His followers to stay there.
The Disciples took this as a personal offense and an affront to their Master. James and John asked Jesus if He wanted them to call down fire from Heaven to consume them.
Jesus replied that they did not know what spirit they are of.
The Samaritans were not rejecting ‘out of hand’, per se, but rather, what rejecting that He must go on to Jerusalem as His destination.
Jerusalem is where Jesus would be betrayed and handed over for Crucifixion, be buried, and resurrect.
The Samaritans may not have had a problem with Jesus’ ministry, or even claims to be Messiah, it was the method; the Crucifixion, the destination, and the object obedience of Christ Jesus that was offensive to them.
For the Disciples to want to call down fire would’ve meant to call fire on themselves, for all of them would run when Jesus was betrayed. To call down fire on Samaria for not giving Jesus accommodation would also require fire to fall on them for abandoning Jesus ver soon.
When Peter told Jesus that Peter would not allow the Lord to go to the Cross, Jesus told him, “get thee behind me satan.”
Peter, at that time, was more than willing to admit that Jesus was the Christ, the Son of God, but was not willing to accept the Cross as the means of Redemption and the culmination of Christ’s earthly ministry.
It was God’s love and Grace that prevented God from allowing fire to fall on Samaria. For Jesus, as God, knew that after Pentecost, Phillip would go down and evangelize Samaria, and there would be a great revival there. And then, even Peter, and even John! would go and preach the Baptism in the Holy Spirit there!
So Jesus loves Samaria, and knew, as God, that they would accept Him and be converted, but later.
The Pattern for Love was set by the Eternal Father and the Eternal Son unto obedience and sacrifice.
Do we, want a Jesus without a Cross? No suffering? No pain? No rejection?
John 6:38, Jesus came not to do His own will, but the will of Him that sent Him
So as we obey God, there may be situations and people that seem hopeless to us, but God knows what we could never know; the future. It is our duty to love Jesus unto obedience, and trust even when we cannot see how things could change.
What Spirit are we of?
Peter tried to stop the going to the Cross, Jesus said He was of
satan, earthyl minded
-do we want a Christ without a Cross?
-as Jesus hung on the Cross, the theif on the left, ridiculed him
-the thief represents all those who believe religion exists to get you out of pain,
-the thief said, why should I suffer? what did I do?
-when things go wrong, they blame God
-he yelled out, if you are the Christ, free yourself and us!
-take that nail and make is a sceptor!
-if you’re divine, take me down!
-if you can do it, you are god!
-why did he want down? to keep steeling
-here was unanwered prayer,
-what did our Lord do to deserve this? we did it
Love looks past hate, past the challenges of the moment
Love, with hope, looks past the temporary trials!
-Jesus knew, that a great thing had begun in Samaria with the woman at the well
-Jesus knew, as God, that Philip would preach in Samaria, all over!
When we love God, and are governed by that love, choices become easier!
-obedience becomes easier because my decisions are dictated by my love for God!
you may have heard the phrase, that your Joy may be full…
Herein is my Father glorified, that ye bear much fruit; so shall ye be my disciples.
As the Father hath loved me, so have I loved you: continue ye in my love.
If ye keep my commandments, ye shall abide in my love; even as I have kept my Father’s commandments, and abide in his love.
These things have I spoken unto you, that my joy might remain in you, and that your joy might be full.
This is my commandment, That ye love one another, as I have loved you.
Greater love hath no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends.
Ye are my friends, if ye do whatsoever I command you.
Nehemiah 8:10, The joy of the Lord is your strength
Jesus was not put off by the events, He kept His Mission of Redemption; he was faithful to the end.
He says, we must be like a child;
-trusting, loving unto obedience, honest when we’ve fallen and sinned
-we must be hopeful, a healthy child is hopeful
-we must give love freely, a child loves freely
-we must trust, as a child. things will not always be as they are! God has a plan