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Expecting the Expected

Written by: Bill Sparks Posted on: May 14, 2018 Blog: Thoughts along the way

"When the disciples James and John saw this, they asked, "Lord, do you want us to call fire down from heaven and destroy them?" (Luke 9:54)

One of the things I love most about the scriptures is that God didn't make any attempt to cover up our inescapable humanity. One passage - Luke 9:51-55 - contains a great example of this truth. In this case, Jesus gets the cold shoulder from a Samaritan village, and when James and John get wind of it, they are ready to "cowboy up".

"Lord, do you want us to call fire down from heaven and destroy them?" they asked Him.

James and John wanted to stomp on these people - not with whips, not by stoning them, and with an old-fashioned beat-down. No, they wanted to literally flip the light switch on God's wrath and engulf these freaks with literal fire from Jehovah God.

I have to admit that this verse gives me incredible hope as a man. That's because there's not much difference between you and me and these two disciples. We are men, and we get really, really angry - and sometimes for the right reasons. James and John believed they were speaking out of love for Jesus, standing up for Him, and defending the man they knew to be the One whom God had sent to their perverse generation.

Luke records that Jesus turned to James and John and rebuked them for what they had just suggested. What I wouldn't give to know what He said to them.

I love the irony of this passage. James and John were following a man from Nazareth who was teaching them to love people, and the moment things didn't go their way, the moment people started acting ugly, they doubled down on the ugly meter in their sheer desire to kill 'em all.

The reality is this: one of the hardest lessons we as Jesus followers must learn is that lost people are going to act like lost people. Jesus calls us to do exactly what He did and love them anyway.

From Jason Cruise, "The Man Minute"

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