Now it came to pass, when the time had come for Him to be received up, that He steadfastly set His face to go to Jerusalem, and sent messengers before His face. And as they went, they entered a village of the Samaritans, to prepare for Him. But they did not receive Him, because His face was set for the journey to Jerusalem. 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: 51-56)
When it was time for Jesus to die on the cross, He sent messengers to prepare a place for Him in a Samaritan village, but they rejected Jesus. James and John were offended, because these people despised the Lord, and wanted to burn the Samaritans alive! The Lord rebuked them, pointing out that they were confused about their mission and about Jesus’ purpose: He did not come to destroy people’s souls killing them. He came to saved them from eternal damnation.
We can almost feel Jesus’ indignation in His rebuke to James and John. He had shared with them His purpose for humanity so many times, and now they were trying to destroy the very people Jesus came to save.
As incomprehensible as it seems to us, Jesus was not angry at the people who rejected Him, He loved them. Unbelievers many times set off a war against Jesus, thinking that because He knows about their sins, He hates them. Quite the contrary! A person can reject Jesus a million times and the Lord will still love him, accept him, and forgive him if he humbles himself and ask forgiveness.
While the disciples were trying to do the work of the devil, killing people before they could believe in the Savior; Jesus was clear about His purpose.
If you are an unbeliever and hate Jesus and everything about Christianity, you need to know that Jesus loves you with an immovable, eternal love. He is not your enemy, Satan is. Jesus wants to change your life for the better, save your soul, and give you eternal life in heaven. You could deny everything about Him, but you cannot deny His love for you.
“For the Son of Man has come to seek and to save that which was lost.” (Luke 19: 10)