The Way of the Cross

Jesus was on a mission. He knew His time was drawing near and He needed to go to Jerusalem. And the quickest way to Jerusalem was through Samaria.

But the Samaritans would not allow Jesus to enter.

Jesus had previously spent several days in Samaria. He had spoken fondly of Samaritans in his parable. Yet, Samaria had the audacity to deny our Lord and Savior.

This is a story that is once again speaking to me. How do we, as Christians react when we are rejected? When we are denied? How do we respond when we feel “others” are thwarting the plans God has for us?

The disciples wanted to call down fire. The disciple called for violence. The disciples wanted to take the kingdom by physical force. The disciples were wrong.

I can relate to the disciples. I have been rejected. I have been denied. I have been told, “No”, to the calling on my life. And like the disciples, I have called down fire (with my words). I have complained and demonized the person telling me no. I have demanded my own. And you know what it got me? Angry, defeated, bitter. And a continual fight of the same battle.

But I am learning to respond like Jesus in those situations.

Jesus did not usurp the will of the Samaritans even though what he asked would have been good for the Samaritans. There is a blessing anytime Jesus is in your midst.

Jesus did not say, “I’m going through Samaria whether you like it or not.” He was God. He could have. But He chose meekness over strength.

What did Jesus do?

He sternly rebuked His disciples for thinking such a thing. Jesus warned them, “You do not know what Spirit you are of.” In other words, you don’t understand, you are partnering with a spirit of death. That is not who we are. We do not promote destroying lives. We save lives.

Jesus found another way to his destination. He went through a different village.

Brothers and sisters in Christ, like the disciples we are very passionate about the things of God. And when we are confronted with what we feel like is an assault on our God, we may want to call fire down on others. But that Spirit is not of God. We can’t allow that passion to cause us to partner with things that are “NOT” of God in our fight for God.

Violence. Accusations. Division. Fear. Condemnation. Demanding our Way. The sentiment – “Any cost necessary”. These are NOT THE WAYS OF THE CROSS.

Like Jesus, we must remind each other of the dangers of partnering with the spirit of death in the form of division, violence, condemnation, accusations.
Like Jesus, we must honor the will of the people.
Like Jesus, we must choose meekness over strength.
Like Jesus, we must sometime just walk a different path to get to our destination.

During this tumultuous season, let us choose the way of the cross.

“And when His disciples James and John saw this, they said, “Lord, do You want us to command fire to come down from heaven and consume them, just as Elijah did?” But He turned and rebuked them, and said, “You do not know what manner of spirit you are of. For the Son of Man did not come to destroy men’s lives but to save them. ” And they went to another village.”
‭‭Luke‬ ‭9:54-56‬ ‭NKJV‬‬