Today’s passage says: “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, 52 and sent messengers before His face. And as they went, they entered a village of the Samaritans, to prepare for Him. 53 But they did not receive Him, because His face was set for the journey to Jerusalem. 54 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?” 55 But He turned and rebuked them, and said, “You do not know what manner of spirit you are of. 56 For the Son of Man did not come to destroy men’s lives but to save them.” And they went to another village.
Imagine your pastor asks you ‘what manner of spirit are you of’? So many believers would be offended, only because of the lack of knowledge of the Word of God. In this passage, we have two disciples of Jesus who love their Master and want him to be honoured the way the think He deserved. Now, because the Samaritans refused to allow Jesus into their city because He was a Jew heading to Jerusalem and we know that, at that time, the Samaritans were not to associate in any manner with the Jews (John 4:1–9). Offended, the two disciples wanted to exercise authority as Elijah had done. But Jesus refused and rebuked them with these words, “You do not know what manner of spirit you are of. the Son of Man did not come to destroy men’s lives but to save them.”
My brother, my sister, when looking at your own behaviour, especially in front of adverse situations, would you say that you have acted or you are acting in the manner of the Holy Spirit who dwells within your or in the manner of another spirit? Yes, it is good for the believers to consider what manner of spirit the Holy Spirit is, so they won’t be deceived by evil spirits! Note that, when this was taking place, the Holy Spirit had not yet come into the disciples since Jesus was still around and they had to wait until His death and resurrection before the day of Pentecost took place. So, we can say they did not know what manner of spirit was animating them because it is quite obvious that Jesus was referring to the third Person of the Trinity when He rebuked His disciples for not knowing what manner of spirit they were of, anticipating the coming of the Spirit (John 7:37-39). The Holy Spirit is not the spirit of destruction but rather the Spirit of deliverance! So, stop asking th Holy Spirit to cast fire on the people you don’t want to see or that you have issues with because Jesus had come not, “…to condemn the world; but that the world through him might be saved”(John 3:17).
Today, let us remember that it is very important not only that we, the Christians, always say the right things or take the right stand, but also that we have the right spirit, which simply means that we have to display the attributes of the Holy Spirit because He dwells within us so that His traits may be used and communicated to this depraved world. The Holy Spirit in us is altogether:
• The Spirit of God (Genesis 1:2, for example)
• The Spirit of wisdom (Exodus 28:3)
• The Spirit of the Lord (Judges 3:10)
• The Spirit of judgment (Isaiah 4:4)
• The Spirit of understanding (Isaiah 11:2)
• The Spirit of counsel and might (Isaiah 11:2)
• The Spirit of knowledge and of the fear of the Lord (Isaiah 11:2)
• The Spirit of grace and supplication (Zechariah 12:10)
• The Spirit of your Father (Matthew 10:20)
• Another Comforter (like Jesus, John 14:16)
• The Spirit of truth (John 14:17)
• The Spirit of holiness (Romans 1:4)
• The Spirit of life (Romans 8:2)
• The Spirit of Christ (Romans 8:9)
• The Spirit of adoption (Romans 8:15)
• The Spirit of the living God (2 Corinthians 3:3)
• The Spirit of His Son (Galatians 4:6)
• The Spirit of power, and of love, and of a sound mind (2 Timothy 1:7)
• The eternal Spirit (Hebrews 9:14)
• The Spirit of grace (Hebrews 10:29)
• The Spirit of glory (1 Peter 4:14)
Remember also that, “The fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, meekness, temperance” (Galatians 5:22–23). This is the Spirit who dwells inside us. This is the Spirit we are of!
Many Christians are totally disillusioned, and quote Bible verses as Satan, but the Bible says that it is through its fruits that we will recognize a tree (Luke 6: 43-45). Therefore, when we have an evil spirit driving us, we cannot display the fruit of the Spirit because our attitude cannot bring out the characteristics of the Holy Spirit, which simply means that we are not walking in the Spirit. So, let us serve the Lord Jesus faithfully with a spirit (His Spirit) who wants to save others and not destroy them. Stay blessed in Jesus’ name.