He sent messengers ahead of him, who went into a village in Samaria to get everything ready for him. But the people there would not receive him, because it was clear that he was on his way to Jerusalem. When the disciples James and John saw this, they said, ‘Lord, do you want us to call fire down from heaven to destroy them?’
Jesus turned and rebuked them. Then Jesus and his disciples went on to another village. (verses 52-56)
Read Luke 9:51-62
It’s terrible to hear that your friend is having a party and you haven’t been invited. You feel sad and a bit rejected. You wonder what has gone wrong in the friendship, why you weren’t invited. Perhaps it was because of an argument over something trivial.
Jesus was hoping to spend some time with the people in this Samaritan village, but when they hear that he is on his way to Jerusalem they respond with contempt. There was a big rivalry between Jews and Samaritans over which was the proper place to worship God, Jerusalem or Mount Gerizim. James and John immediately feel insulted and want to show those Samaritans who they’re dealing with. But Jesus is not interested in getting even. His ministry is one of humility, not might. He desires love, not fear. I’m sure Jesus would have been disappointed that a trivial argument had prevented him from bringing the good news to the villagers, but he gracefully bears the rejection and moves on.
Lord, teach me how to respond with love when I feel rejected. Thank you that you never reject me. Amen.
by Jorg Ernst in ‘Renewed Hope for each Day’ (LCA, Openbook, 2000)
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