“The Manner of the Spirit”
In this passage, Jesus is on his way back to the Holy City and he stops by a Samaritan village on his way there. The Samaritan villagers give him unwelcoming gestures to leave their village because they know where he is headed. For those of you who don’t know the times, Jews and Samaritans had a very strong dislike towards each other. The Jews thought them to be lesser than them because the Samaritans’ fellowship with God got watered down over the centuries.
James and John, the Sons of Thunder, wanted fire to rain down from Heaven. Jesus snapped and checked his disciples as he said, “you don’t know what manner your spirit is of! The Son of Man is not come to destroy men’s lives, but to save them!” (vv. 55b-56a)
There’s nothing godly about destroying, killing, and bombing lives. Yet, society finds more and more excuses to justify police brutality, drone strikes, the death penalty, and the War on Terror. Why not try compassion, mercy, and love?
These are the things that God has chosen to do with all his children that fall short of his glory. So why don’t we dispense it among each other?
Is the manner of your spirit filled with love and forgiveness or filled with wrath, vengeance, or destruction today? May God help us all, if it is the latter.