|Training tough minded men|
Note in West Olive
The Sons, By Thunder
Text: Luke 9:51-56
51 When the days were approaching for His [a]ascension, He [b]was determined to go to Jerusalem;52 and He sent messengers on ahead of Him, and they went and entered a village of the Samaritans to [c]make arrangements for Him. 53 But they did not receive Him, because [d]He was traveling toward Jerusalem.54 When His disciples James and John saw this, they said, “Lord, do You want us to command fire to come down from heaven and consume them?” 55 But He turned and rebuked them, [[e]and said,“You do not know what kind of spirit you are of; 56 for the Son of Man did not come to destroy men’s lives, but to save them.”] And they went on to another village.
The message and applications on humility ended the Lord’s ministry in Galilee. (Matthew 19:1-2).
Context: 4 months before the crucifixion?
Luke’s comments suggest both a geographic direction and a Spiritual state of mind.
The nature if the disciples’ attitudes: a strange suggestion from those who had walked with Jesus at length and who knew all to all to well the need and reception of the Samaritans.
What does this tell you about the disciples?
How does this relate to John’s future ministry? (See Acts 8)
How slow we are to learn the lessons of Jesus– how heavy our feet can become.
Less than 2 years after this event, repentance and faith will be occupying the minds previously dominated by destruction and their own brand of righteousness. (Acts 8:14).
A.B. Bruce notes, " the juice of the ripe apple is the same that was in the green fruit, plus sunlight and sun heat. The zeal of the son of Thunder did not disappear from John’s nature after he became an apostle; it only became tempered by the light of wisdom, and softened by the heart of love…"
"to the last, John was what he was at first, an intense hater as well as an intense lover but in his later years, he knew better what to hate– the object of his abhorrence being hypocrisy, apostasy, and Laodocean insincerity; not as of old, mere ignorant rudeness and clownish incivility." pg 242
Jesus loving a disciple more for what he would become than what he was now.
John is the picture of a man who has plenty of raw, pure passion but who must find a way to excise the dross from his fleshly self. Old hatreds die hard.
Their request… Their defense
To be sure their request was rejected but was at least thoughtfully formulated
- They sought to obtain Jesus’ permission
- They thought they at least were supported by precedent. (2 Kings 1)
- They felt their righteous indignation match that of their master. The pride of "Doing the Lord’s work"
Their real Spirit…
The result when carnal passion is mixed with pure zeal and deepening spirituality.
The real version was visible from Jesus’ own work with the woman of John 4.
They are not merely of if sympathy with but directly contradictory to what their Lord is thinking.
No wonder Jesus set His face toward Jersusalem, if by means of the coming cross their kind of thinking and behavior can die under the cleansing power of His blood.
Apps: what are the take aways?
- Beware of the attitudes that can steal away with doing the Lord’s work.
- What say you?
- What say you?