The Sons of Thunder
If you’ve ever had your car or house broken into, I wouldn’t be surprised if you harbored some revenge fantasies for a few weeks. That feeling of being violated makes us so angry that we would love to bring payback down on the perps’ heads.
“Cursing” is not just foul language but the actual belief that righteous people can call down God’s wrath on others. It’s probably a good thing that people’s cursing “gun” isn’t loaded—we understand far too little about what’s really going on to be trusted with the red button of God’s nuclear strikes.
Jesus was not interested in James and John’s plans to hasten judgment day: “He sent messengers on ahead, who went into a Samaritan village to get things ready for him; 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 9:52-55).
It’s not our job to dish out vengeance, administer punishments, or organize retaliation. God says that he will take care of repaying evildoers. Our job is humbly to recognize our own evil thoughts, words, and deeds; be grateful for the Lord’s mercy on us; and share good news of that mercy with the other fools and sinners around us.