Wednesday 17 February, 2016
23 He said to them, “Doubtless you will quote to me this proverb, ‘Doctor, cure yourself!’ And you will say, ‘Do here also in your hometown the things that we have heard you did at Capernaum.’” 24 And he said, “Truly I tell you, no prophet is accepted in the prophet’s hometown. 25 But the truth is, there were many widows in Israel in the time of Elijah, when the heaven was shut up three years and six months, and there was a severe famine over all the land; 26 yet Elijah was sent to none of them except to a widow at Zarephath in Sidon. 27 There were also many lepers[a] in Israel in the time of the prophet Elisha, and none of them was cleansed except Naaman the Syrian.” 28 When they heard this, all in the synagogue were filled with rage. 29 They got up, drove him out of the town, and led him to the brow of the hill on which their town was built, so that they might hurl him off the cliff. 30 But he passed through the midst of them and went on his way.
Today’s bible story is about Jesus’ work in Nazareth.
In Nazareth people were amazed at the gracious words that came out from Jesus and said: “Is this not Joseph’s son?”
Jesus challenged their attitude because He knew what was in their minds?
No matter what Jesus had done in Capernaum, Nazareth’s people were unwilling to accept His words because of His low identity – “the son of Joseph” (similarly Nathanael said: Can any good thing come out of Nazareth? John1:46)
But, Jesus still preached the gospel first to His own town; even though He knew “no prophet is accepted in his own country”
Also, Jesus warned them that if Nazareth/Jewish people did not accept Him, God’s salvation would go to the Gentiles who are originally unrelated to God – like Elijah was sent only to a widow in Zarephath in Sidon and Elisha cleansed only the Naaman the Syrian.
Today, how do I see/identify other people in Church? By their outside or inside?
How do I see/treat God’s warning in my life? How do I respond to the voice of the Holy Spirit that has spoken to me?
Written by Allen Leu
The prejudice and pride of the Jews is uncovered in this story. They were God’s people and proud of it and yet here is Jesus trying to remind them that all people matter to God. God has always had a heart for all His creation and the notion of the Jews as God’s chosen people was, at least in part, for them to show the rest of the world how magnificent God is, and certainly not take a ‘privileged’ position as if God has favourites.
Where do my pride and prejudices get in the way of people seeing God in me, who do I exclude rather than include into the Gospel.
I need to ensure that I keep my heart open to all.
Father help me to stay soft to all those around me, not taking any position of superiority over others who I think are somehow different and lesser. Give me grace to continually reach out with Your love.