The disciples are understandably on edge. A brief over veiw of the event of Luke chapter 9 makes me jittery, and I’m living 2,000 years after the fact.
- 9:1 – Jesus gives the disciples authority to cast out demons and cure diseases
- 9:7 – Herod thinks Jesus is John the Baptist risen from the dead (not a good thing)
- 9:10 – Jesus feeds the 5,000
- 9:18 – Peter proclaims Jesus as the Messiah
- 9:21 – Jesus foretells his death and resurrection
- 9:28 – Jesus is Transfigured
- 9:40 – The disciples fail to heal a boy with a demon, so Jesus has to fix the mess
- 9:43 – Jesus again foretells his death
- 9:49 – The disciples run into a man exorcising demons in Jesus’ name and don’t like it
- 9:51 – the beginning of our pericope today Jesus isn’t welcomed into a Samaritan city
It is perhaps no wonder then that the disciples want to put their finger on the button to call down fire to consume them. Things are getting hairy and the disciples are feeling the heat licking at their heels. Which is, as I say, not surprising. None of us really likes when new things spring up on us. None of us is happy to see our power slipping away. None of us wants to see our leaders ride off into the sunset. Often, our reaction is to cling to power, or, in extreme cases, to wipe out anyone who threatens your position in the power structure.
As normal as the reaction of the disciples might be, Jesus doesn’t buy power dynamics, and so we get a very short, simple response from Jesus, “But Jesus turned and rebuked them.”