I love the story Luke tells about Jesus, his two trigger happy disciples and the Samaritan village who would not receive them.
Luke 9:51 51 Now it came to pass, when the time had come for Him to be received up, that He steadfastly set His face to go to Jerusalem, 52 and sent messengers before His face. And as they went, they entered a village of the Samaritans, to prepare for Him. 53 But they did not receive Him, because His face was set for the journey to Jerusalem. 54 And 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, just as Elijah did?" 55 But He turned and rebuked them, and said, "You do not know what manner of spirit you are of.”
So the two disciples, James and John….got all pissy because the Samaritan village wanted nothing to do with Jesus…or with them. None of this…”If they don’t receive you, shake the dust off your feet” and keep going. No…they wanted to call down fire on the village….like Elijah did in 2 Kings. To refresh your memory….
Three times the king sent a group of 50 soldiers and their leaders to bring Elijah in. Twice Elijah said,
"If I am a man of God, then let fire come down
from heaven and consume you and your fifty men."
And fire came down from heaven and consumed them.
Then the third guy, realizing he needed a different plan…..fell on his knees and begged Elijah to have compassion on him and his men. And the Lord told Elijah to go with this humble captain to meet the king.
So that’s the storyline running through the minds of the two disciples. Fire from heaven. Effective and dramatic.
And Jesus said…”Hey, that’s a great idea!” “Why didn’t I think of that?”
he turned, and rebuked them, and said, You do not know what manner of spirit you are of.
I love that passage….!
The disciples wanted to fry the occupants of a small Samaritan village and Jesus refused….scolded them…and reminded them who they were…WHOSE they were. Yet, this same Jesus is going to consign unbelievers to never ending fire and brimstone. Eternal Conscious Torment. Really?
If you believe that….perhaps, like those two disciples, you do not know what manner of spirit you are of.