“But He turned and rebuke them, and said, ‘You do not know what manner of spirit you are of,’” Luke 9:55, NKJV
I think it’s safe to say that we have all experienced a time or two (or many more 🙂 ) of when we let the situation get the best of us. Here in this verse Jesus and His disciples were traveling and came to a town of the Samaritans. But, not everyone was excited to see Jesus and the Bible tells us that He was not received there.
In a moment of fleshly upheaval, Jesus’ disciples asked Him, “Lord, do You want us to command fire to come down from heaven and consume them, just as Elijah did?” (Luke 9:54, NKJV). Jesus was taken aback that they would be so quickly and willingly ready to take the lives of some who did not support them that He rebuked their way of thinking. He said, “You do not know what manner of spirit you are of,” (Luke 9:55, NKJV). In other words, you are not operating in the spirit of who I am. You are not thinking like Me. They were not looking at people and the ministry the way He would.
Jesus set the record straight and said, “For the Son of Man did not come to destroy men’s lives but to save them,” (Luke 9:56, NKJV). Jesus’ goal was to save people. His goal was to build up, not to tear down. Too often in our daily lives our anger and haste over a disappointing situation can cause us to want to act the opposite of the way Jesus would act, such as occurred here. But Christ declared His mission is always to save and those who want to do anything beside that are stepping out of the character of who He is.
We all have the responsibility to be mindful of the way we handle people and situations. Sometimes the situation can catch us off guard. Sometimes we let things get the best of us and we behave in the manner of these disciples. But if we are going to be examples of Christ we must try our best to think like He did and to view people like He did. Jesus always had the best interest of the people in mind. There were many of times when He could have just zapped them all and been done with it but that would not fulfill God’s plan for His life. God’s plan for His life was to save.
God’s plan for our lives is to show His salvation is real. If we want to fulfill God’s plan for our lives we have to learn to look at situations and people through the eyes of Christ. I am in no ways saying that it is always easy but it is a daily goal that we should work toward. We need to learn to exhibit the same patient and long suffering spirit Christ had. We need to learn to show His love off to the world and not be so ready to “consume” with our ire over a situation. Our goal is to work to stay in the character of Christ and not to step out of it.