Getting Even – Hope 103.2

Getting Even

Read Luke 9:51-56 51 As the time drew near for him to ascend to heaven, Jesus resolutely set out for Jerusalem. 52 He sent messengers ahead to a Samaritan village to prepare for his arrival. 53 But the people of the village did not welcome Jesus because he was on his way to Jerusalem. 54 […]

By David ReayWednesday 3 Apr 2019LifeWords DevotionalsFaithReading Time: 2 minutes

Read Luke 9:51-56

51 As the time drew near for him to ascend to heaven, Jesus resolutely set out for Jerusalem. 52 He sent messengers ahead to a Samaritan village to prepare for his arrival. 53 But the people of the village did not welcome Jesus because he was on his way to Jerusalem. 54 When James and John saw this, they said to Jesus, “Lord, should we call down fire from heaven to burn them up?” 55 But Jesus turned and rebuked them. 56 So they went on to another village. (NLT)

There is an old saying that tells us revenge is sweet. In fact, while it may be sweet for a moment, it eventually becomes bitter in the long term. Jesus’ disciples were angry that Samaritans hadn’t welcomed them and so wanted to enlist Jesus’ power to wreak revenge on the villagers.

Jesus will have none of it. No matter how inhospitable or hostile these locals were, he was not in the business of hurling thunderbolts at those who displeased him. He was on his way to die for such people. Mercy rather than revenge was on his mind.

It is so very human to want to get even at those who hurt us. To hit out at those who we reckon are on the wrong track. We might even disguise it as ‘righteous indignation’, believing right is on our side. We see ourselves as angels at war with the devils.

It is not the way of Jesus. Of course evil is to be justly punished: in the short term by civil authorities and in the longer term by the divine judge himself. But we are always cautioned against taking things into our own hands, no matter what the provocation. We are warned against letting a vengeful spirit take hold of us. Such a spirit tends to make our advocacy for justice curdle into dark and damaging hatred. And so everyone loses, and we never really get even.

Blessings
David Reay