“For the Son of Man did not come to destroy men’s lives but to save them.”
– Luke 9:56
Jesus and the disciples headed to Jerusalem. This would be Jesus’ final trip to the city He wept for. He was headed to accomplish all His heavenly Father had called Him to do. His face was set, and His heart steadfast on the mission.
It comes as no surprise to us that a village in Samaria would not allow them to remain there for a time to rest. The Samaritans and Jews disagreed about where and how Jehovah should be worshipped. The Samaritans were looked down upon by the Jews, and the Jews were despised by the Samaritans. And, when they heard Jesus was headed to Jerusalem, they knew He was not part of them. So, they did not allow any of them to stay and rest in their village.
This, of course, angered the “Sons of Thunder.” Due to the lack of respect and reverence the Samaritans showed Jesus, James and John wanted to call down fire and kill them, just as Elijah did in the Old Testament. And, Jesus corrected them. He corrected them because they had the wrong heart and intentions.
Jesus came to restore, not destroy. One day He will bring judgment, as the Bible promises. But, as we live in the church age, redemption and restoration are key. Our heart’s desire should never be hatred towards others. A Christian’s hope should always be salvation, and our lives should be identified by grace, not vengeance. That steadfast face of Jesus we see pictured for us on the cross was set in love, not anger.
“So then, my beloved brethren, let every man be swift to hear, slow to speak, slow to wrath, for the wrath of man does not produce the righteousness of God.”
– James 1:19-20