“Now when the time was almost come for Jesus to be received up to heaven. He steadfastly and determinedly set His face to go to Jerusalem. And He sent messengers before Him; and they reached and entered a Samaritan village to make things ready for Him.
But the people would not welcome or receive or accept Him, because His face was set as if He was going to Jerusalem. And when His disciples James and John, observed this, they said, Lord, do You wish us to command fire to come down from heaven and consume them, even as Elijah did?
But He turned and rebuked and severely censured them. He said, You do not know of what sort of spirit you are. For the Son of Man did not come to destroy men’s lives, but to save them from the penalty of eternal death. And they journeyed on to another village.” Luke 9:51-56)
There are a few interesting things of note here in this passage of scripture.
The first thing is how little regard Jesus paid to the complete and total rejection of Him or His message by an entire village. At this point in time everyone knew about Jesus of Nazareth and the miracles He did and the power of God flowing through Him. The one thing I’ve noticed about the power of God is that people either run towards it or they run away from it. It is no different today than back in Jesus’ day. Whenever the power of God breaks out, those afraid of it say it’s of the devil and those desperate enough to want a miracle embrace it and get their miracle. The people in the village said, “we know who You are, but we don’t want any part of You.”
The second thing, and this I just noticed tonight, is the question His disciples asked Him, “shall we call down fire as Elijah did and consume them?” Jesus had given them all the authority that He walked in to do miracles in His Name. They obviously knew their authority and totally believed they could call fire down from heaven! Their motives were evil though, they wanted retribution for the villagers’ rejection of Jesus. That is not what Jesus is about in the Age of Grace.
The third thing is the level of determination and purpose that Jesus had in getting to Jerusalem. Regardless of what anyone thought about Him, felt about Him or said about Him–He was going to fulfill His mission. That mission was to be lifted up on that Cross for all men everywhere throughout all time, so that they would not have to spend eternity in the Lake of Fire separated from God the Father. But more than that, His mission was to restore the lost fellowship between God and man after Adam fell into sin so long ago.
Jesus just moved on to the next village to prepare for the Cross. The Samaritan village lost a huge opportunity to be a blessing to God. Jesus died for them too. Jesus “severely rebuked” James and John for speaking that way. He only saw people through the eyes of the Father—LOVE. He loved them regardless of whether they loved Him or hated Him. He loves you and I regardless of whether we love Him, hate Him, believe or not believe in Him.
He fulfilled His mission and the opportunity to live for eternity has been established until time ends. The opportunity is there until we take our last breath or on the Day of Judgment. It is there regardless of whether we take it or not.
Lord let somebody somewhere reading this, take advantage of this opportunity…