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.

Grace.

Whatever.