What really captured me in this series of stories is toward the end of chapter 9. Prior to this, the disciples have seen one of the miracles of the bread/fish, heard Peter’s confession of who Jesus is, some have witnessed the transfiguration of Jesus, and seen the casting out of a demon from a young boy. You would think that with all of those things, they wouldn’t get caught up in the “petty” things of who will be the most important in the life to come, the us-vs-them of the person who didn’t _exactly_ follow Jesus like they were doing, and then when the Samaritan village rejected Jesus. After the rejection, James and John want to call down fire from heaven to destroy the village. Um…guys…what about that love thing? Jesus rebukes them and they move on.
Like I have written before in this journey through the Gospels, I wish I wasn’t as much like the disciples as I often am. I wish I could say that I have never felt like wanting to have fire (literally or figuratively) called down on something or someone(s) who have wronged me. But I cannot say that. There have been too many times where I have wanted some kind of judgment to come upon someone else. But I am thankful that its not up to me to make that kind of judgment.
In our current climate of events in our country and in our world there are many who (like I wrote about a few days ago) are our “enemies” and the easiest thing would be to just pray that God would wipe them off the map just as James and John did. But I think that, for us as individuals, our call is to continue to pray for them and to move on to where we can make a difference, just as Jesus did here – yes the village rejected him, but there was another village ahead to look forward to and not look back to where they were.