A Bit Big for Their Britches

It’s not often that I laugh out loud during my quiet time, but it happened this morning.

I was reading in Luke. Jesus and the disciples were heading into a village and the people there didn’t welcome him. James and John were a little miffed, “Lord, do you want us to call down fire from heaven to consume them?”

I stopped. Did they really say what I think they just said?

I read it again. Pictured the scene. Shoulders back, jostling each other a bit and flexing their guns as they looked at Jesus. They were ready for a fight. “Hey Jesus, want us to take care of that? Smite them for ya?”

Jesus. King. Savior. Holy One. The One who could call down a legion of angels at a moment’s notice. And the disciples, full of bravado, “Want us to take care of that for you? Call down some fire and brimstone?”

I can only picture the look on his face. Really? You’re going to call down fire from heaven? You boys can’t even rub two sticks together for a decent spark…

I wonder if the disciples thought Jesus was a bit too much into mercy, a touch too attached to grace.  You know, maybe they should step in and help Jesus take a stand.

A little less love, a lot more smiting— that’ll show ‘em.

But Jesus didn’t smite those who didn’t know him yet. He saved his anger for those who said they belonged to God, but acted like they were all that and a bag of manna.

No smiting today, boys.

Shoulders slumped. Ego deflated.



5 thoughts on “A Bit Big for Their Britches

  1. Alice says:

    LOL! Not only is this funny, but don’t we all get like that at times? We get all confident when we know we’re with Jesus. Nothing is impossible for us when we’re with him, right? Even smiting. I wonder if the disciples had already practiced calling fire from heaven, or if that was a new, spur-of-the-moment idea. In any case, I think they really believed they could. … If we only knew that He’s with us no matter what we’re walking into, we’d have that kind of fearless, unstoppable attitude too. We just don’t always remember who we’re with.
    OK, enough ranting… must get back to smiting my inbox.

  2. Dennis Blank says:

    Hmmm.. Very interesting…. made me think..

    Did the disciples think because of the Jesus’ GRACE they saw him as weak in the moment?

    Was their actions showing control? Did they think that they could handle things better than Jesus?

    Was their actions a way of hinding their weakness?

    I am not sure… Just something to think about in my simple mind…

  3. Terri Laurent says:

    I had to laugh as I read this post! I just read that portion of scripture in my devotions too and had the very same response! Laughed out loud. Loved your insights about it! Thanks again. I always love reading what you share! Terri

  4. Never thought of it that way…but here’s what I took away, probably colored by my own current experiences: So often, we are so convinced about what is truly right that we forget that people have a “learning curve.” God is a gentleman. While it is true that there will eventually be an accounting for blatant, persistent disbelief, He will wait for those of us just merely struggling their way to that place of understanding, apparent pig-headedness notwithstanding. Perhaps there was more for the disciples to understand in this than the unbelieving people themselves. We miss grace and head straight for the obvious.

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