A Rebuke from Jesus

“. . . but the people there did not welcome him, because he was heading for Jerusalem. When the disciples James and John saw this, they asked, ‘Lord, do you want us to call fire down from heaven to destroy them?’ But Jesus turned and rebuked them . . .” Luke 9:51-56

I don’t know what’s more intriguing, the fact that James & John wanted to call fire down from heaven or the fact that they actually believed they could. That said, I am also curious what “Jesus turned and rebuked them” actually looked, sounded and felt like. What would it be like to receive a rebuke from Jesus? What exactly did he say? How did he say it? Did he explain ‘why’ calling down fire wasn’t appropriate or did he assume that they should ‘know by now’?

So here’s a radical question: Does Jesus still rebuke his disciples today?

Is it possible that He still gives correction to those who follow him? Does he do so for you and me? I would hope so. I believe so too.

A few months ago our family was in the car together while driving through Avon when we noticed a woman parked at McDonalds with her hood open and on the cell phone. The thought crossed my mind that we should stop and offer to help. I quickly countered that prompting with the many reasons why I didn’t need to: I was late for a meeting at the church, I had my whole family in the car, she had a cell phone and probably had help on the way, etc. Later that day I can honestly say I received a rebuke. I knew in my heart that I had missed an opportunity to encourage and help someone in need and I sensed the Lord challenging me, even correcting me on it. I know what that felt like. It hurt. It was humbling. I was wrong.

How about you? What correction has God been giving to strengthen and ‘disciple’ you? (See also 2 Timothy 3:16-17; Hebrews 12:7-11)

- This blog was written by Pastor Wayne Hedlund for the Radical Series. Pastor Wayne has recently transitioned out of his role as the Executive Pastor at Elim Gospel Church and now works in the US Ministries office of Elim Fellowship.
RadicalJoshua FinleyComment