Luke 4:22-30 – All spoke well of him and were amazed at the gracious words that came from his lips. "Isn't this Joseph's son?" they asked. Jesus said to them, "Surely you will quote this proverb to me: `Physician, heal yourself! Do here in your hometown what we have heard that you did in Capernaum.' " "I tell you the truth," he continued, "no prophet is accepted in his hometown. 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. Yet Elijah was not sent to any of them, but to a widow in Zarephath in the region of Sidon. 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."
All the people in the synagogue were furious when they heard this. 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 down the cliff. But he walked right through the crowd and went on his way.
These early days of our Lord’s ministry were met with amazement and high favor among the people. They all spoke well of Him and they were enamored by the grace and eloquence with which this carpenter’s son communicated the heart of God. Jesus was not blinded by this early popularity and public favoritism. He would warn others of the dangers when everyone speaks well of you (Luke 6:26). Such favoritism was the treatment reserved for FALSE prophets! So, if you find yourself enjoying popularity with everyone, make sure you check your character and your message for falsehood and flaws! Jesus revealed to them what was really in their hearts when He predicted the proverb they would quote to Him, which means: “Healer, take care of your own maladies and those in your own household and community.” The implication being that He should provide the same miracles and cures to His hometown (among His family and neighbors), that were ascribed to Him in Capernaum.
“Familiarity breeds contempt!” That’s the challenge of a prophet in his hometown. Everyone gains a limited reputation in the community where his family dwells. Jesus’s reputation in His hometown was relegated to being the son of Joseph the carpenter and as one raised and trained in that trade. They did not know Him as one trained in the finest schools of thought and education. Perhaps that heightened their amazement with the way He spoke – they didn’t expect anything like this could be possible from anyone with the background they knew! Jesus reminded them of the healing ministries of Elijah and Elisha, and that although there were many widows and leprous people in Israel, these prophets were not sent to anyone but one widow in Zarephath of Sidon and Naaman the Syrian. No Israelites benefitted from their healing ministries. This message infuriated His hearers and they drove Him out of town with the intention of throwing Him down the cliff of the hill outside of town. They assumed from His words that Jesus would be doing no miracles of healing among them, therefore they utterly rejected Him with the intent to destroy His life! But He walked right through the crowd and continued on His mission. Popular favor could not flatter Him and public animosity had no power to destroy Him!
- Meet together with at least 1 or 2 other believers to enter the Throne Room of Grace.
- Join our 6:00pm Thursday night prayer team.
- Thank God for His amazing expressions of grace and truth made through His Son!
- Pray for the Good News families of the week: Peter & Laurel George (Annabeth, Luke, Josiah), Pastor Dave & Cindy George, Allen Grandin.
- Praise God that He is not swayed, flattered or deterred from His purposes by public opinion.
- Ask God to give you a discerning spirit when it comes to popular opinions.
- Pray that you will trust in Christ even when He doesn’t answer your requests or perform the way you want Him to!
- Attend “In Touch” Prayer meeting at GNCC at 10:30am or join in prayer at that time.
- Pray that we would not be guilty of putting God to the test.
- Pray that your hometown prophet will faithfully minister God’s Word without seeking popularity.
Prayer Challenge: Don’t be a fair-weather believer and follower of Christ. Trust Him in answered and unanswered prayers, in sickness and in health, in good times and in bad, in joys or in sorrow, in poverty or wealth, in life and in death! No matter if the rest of your world forsakes Him, misuses His Name, turns their backs on Him and utterly rejects Him, make it your purpose to stand firm with Him until the end!