Wednesday, March 4, 2009

Fire from Heaven

And it came to pass, when the time was come that
he should be received up, he steadfastly set his face
to go to
Jerusalem, and sent messengers before his
face: and they went, and entered into a village of the
Samaritans, to make ready for him. And they did not
receive him, because his face was as though he would
go to
Jerusalem. And when his disciples James and John
saw this, they said, Lord, wilt thou that we command
fire to come down from heaven, and consume them, even
as Elias did? But he turned, and rebuked them, and
said, Ye know not what manner of spirit ye are of. For
the Son of man is not come to destroy men's lives, but
to save them.
Luke 9:51-56

God was going to get their enemies, and this is what
the disciples believed when they wanted to call down
fire from heaven.

In the time of Christ, there was an imprecatory prayer
that was frequently used to curse Rome. It went
something like this:

"Dear God, Please cause a river
of fire to flow from heaven, and let it burn every
Roman, each in his own house, amen

This is probably what Jesus' disciples were referring to
when they wanted to call down fire from Heaven on those who
did not believe or show hospitality to their Master.

(Fleming, James W. 2002. Desert Spirituality. Biblical Resources Conference Lecture Series, June, pg103)

Jesus did not respond in kind to to His
nation’s enemies, the Romans and Samaritans.

When we have trouble forgiving painful hurts
and slights – especially concerning those we love – we
can remember that the Lord is longsuffering, patient,
and kind to all – even our enemies – because he knows
it is possible that some of them will repent and come
unto Him. He is anxious to save as many as possible.

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