Saturday 4 November 2023

Luke 4:23-30

23 Jesus said to them, “Surely you will quote this proverb to me: ‘Physician, heal yourself!’ And you will tell me, ‘Do here in your hometown what we have heard that you did in Capernaum.’ ”

24 “Truly I tell you,” he continued, “no prophet is accepted in his hometown. 25 I assure you that there were many widows in Israel in Elijah’s time, when the sky was shut for three and a half years and there was a severe famine throughout the land. 26 Yet Elijah was not sent to any of them, but to a widow in Zarephath in the region of Sidon. 27 And there were many in Israel with leprosy in the time of Elisha the prophet, yet not one of them was cleansed—only Naaman the Syrian.”

28 All the people in the synagogue were furious when they heard this. 29 They got up, drove him out of the town, and took him to the brow of the hill on which the town was built, in order to throw him off the cliff. 30 But he walked right through the crowd and went on his way.

There is a saying “familiarity breeds contempt”.  These people who are from Jesus’ hometown have contempt for Jesus.  They view Him as “the carpenter’s son”, nothing special.

They become so angry with His words and challenge, that they are wanting to mob Him and push Him off the edge of the hill on which this town was built.  That is a great deal of anger and pride, wanting that level of revenge when He challenges them on why no miracles are seen in His hometown.  He shows courage as He references Elijah (the great Old Testament prophet, who did many miracles) who also did not have respect from those who were familiar to him.

How does Jesus respond … He challenges, moves through the crowd, walks away and does not respond.  It reminds me that sometimes we can be so set in our mindsets, our prejudices, our opinions, that we are blocked to hear.  We can’t hear the Holy Spirit moving us to compassion, love and grace. 

We are called to be bridges of hope, love and faith – the three things that will remain.  If you hold strong opinions, strong prejudices, bigotry in your heart – repent and begin to pray for those you think are wrong, those who don’t hold the same opinions as you.   God loves to change our hearts and will help us to pray effectively for those who persecute us, wrong us, speak against us …  

Lord Jesus help me to love, forgive and embrace people who don’t hold the same opinion as me.  I want to respond like you.  Teach me walk away, hold my tongue, and speak the way you would speak.  I want to look different to the world.  I want people to see Jesus in me.  Help me, Lord Jesus.  In your mighty name I pray.  Amen

Written by Ps. Sue Botta

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