Calling Down Fire

Inspiration MinistriesBy Inspiration Ministries2 Minutes

It was a special moment. The disciples just had witnessed Jesus feeding the 5,000. Peter had declared boldly that He was “the Christ of God,” and Jesus told them how He would be rejected and killed “and be raised up on the third day.” Peter, James, and John had just witnessed His transfiguration. And they had seen Him cast out a demon.

Then they entered a Samaritan village to make “arrangements for Him.” How shocked they must have been when the Samaritans refused to cooperate. To the disciples, this was intolerable, so offensive that they felt judgment was required.

They wanted to “command fire to come down from heaven and consume” the village. They wanted people to know they could not reject Jesus’ ministry without feeling the consequences.

But Jesus censured His angry disciples, declaring, “You do not know what kind of spirit you are of.” They did not realize their true motivation. While they were thinking about judgment and destruction, Jesus said He “did not come to destroy men’s lives, but to save them.”

What would the right response have been? They simply should have moved on to another village, for Jesus was more interested in saving lives than in judgment.

All of us face situations like this, when others reject the Gospel or ridicule us for our faith. As Christians, we will sometimes be criticized or attacked for what we believe.

When these things happen to you, remember how Jesus responded to the Samaritans. Remember that serving Him is not a popularity contest. We are not called to destroy those who do not receive our message, or lash out when we are criticized. Instead, we should think about His example. We should move on, shaking the dust off our feet. Rather than reacting in anger, we should look for other ways to minister, always staying faithful.