51When the days drew near for him to be taken up, he set his face to go to Jerusalem. 52And he sent messengers ahead of him. On their way they entered a village of the Samaritans to make ready for him; 53but they did not receive him, because his face was set toward Jerusalem. 54When his disciples James and John saw it, they said, “Lord, do you want us to command fire to come down from heaven and consume them?” 55But he turned and rebuked them. 56Then they went on to another village. Luke 9:51-56
This is one of those passages that is easy to overlook because of the surrounding story. Chapter nine begins with Jesus calling and sending the twelve apostles, the feeding of the 5000 and Jesus’ important question “who do you say I am” with Peter’s declaration “You are the Messiah”. Chapter nine also contains the Transfiguration and arguments about who is the greatest.
It is easy to miss this little section of scripture, but read it again. Jesus and the group enters a Samaritan village who chose not to receive Jesus because He was going to Jerusalem, the Jewish city (even though the Samaritans were also waiting for God’s Messiah).
James and John want to wipe the village out through God’s power as if it were Sodom and Gomorrah. Jesus rebukes them and they walk away from the village.
This little nugget can tell us a lot about dealing with those we do not get along with, or even enemies. Just walk away. See a social media post that gets you upset? Don’t respond, walk away. Dealing with a bully? Don’t engage, just walk away. Go to “another village”, get away from that which causes you issues and continue your journey. Do not desire revenge, just get on with your life with Jesus.
Throughout this new week you will have plenty of opportunities to “walk away” from things that cause you issues and instead walk with the Lord. Take them and you will be far better for it, just like James and John.