God-in-a-Box–Your Inbox… for appreciating God
Get a Cosmic View of Jesus' Life in Small Bytes

Know God in a Year #152 Does God Force Us to Believe?

Jesus tours Galilee for the last time. Setting out for Samaria, he sends James and John ahead for lodging. His final destination is Jerusalem for Passover and somehow the Samaritans discover this. They are offended thinking Jesus prefers Jews, and won’t accommodate them. Rivalry!
James and John are angry! Samaritans have welcomed him before, and should be honored with his presence!
They want punishment and rant to Jesus, ending with, “Shall we command fire to come down and burn them up as Elijah did?”* They’re surprised at Jesus answer,
“You don’t realize where your attitude comes from, Messiah has come to save men’s lives, not destroy them.”
Jesus has shown God’s way, but humans are slow to understand that God never forces cooperation, never insists men receive Him. Jesus never compelled men.
It is Satan, and humans inspired by him, who force conscience, who want to hurt and destroy those who don’t appreciate us, our work and ideas. (Evidently Satan inspired Elijah’s fear and reaction?)
God is repulsed when people, pretending holiness, bring suffering on those He loves–especially when trying to “convert” them! Every human being is God’s by creation. Jesus came for all. He must surely have suffered watching Elijah react from fear, but honored his prophet’s words and choice.*
God wins us by showing His love, as Jesus shows the Samaritans by understanding, leaving, and speaking well of them.
The Samaritans’ bigotry cost them the tremendous blessing of Jesus’ life-giving presence.  “…And he went to Perea, on the other side of the Jordan.”
Luke 9:51-56   *2Kings 1:15
Advertisements

No Responses to “Know God in a Year #152 Does God Force Us to Believe?”

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: