No Place Like Home
Lord, I pray that, as I come to You now, You’ll speak to me from Your holy Word.
Read 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. Scripture taken from the Holy Bible, NEW INTERNATIONAL VERSION. Copyright © 1973, 1978, 1984 International Bible Society. All rights reserved throughout the world. Used by permission of International Bible Society.
ReflectWhat “problem” did Jesus face in his home town?
Jesus’ neighbors were apparently very pleasant when hearing what they liked. The synagogue-goers seemed happy to hear general good words from Isaiah. Did any of them begin to plan how they might personally help a blind person or take good news to someone poor? What they definitely didn’t like was being put in their place by just a local boy. We are told that they are “amazed” at Jesus’ words, but this is different from being appreciative. All the evidence is that they had not a clue about who Jesus might really be. Mark’s account (Mark 6:4-6) tells us that the Lord, in turn, is amazed at their lack of faith. No miracles here: shouldn’t the person of Jesus Christ have been enough to convict these Jews of their need for him?
Modern Christians can also be guilty of supposing that God is somehow especially real in some other place (in African revivals? in the more exciting church downtown?), or was more active at some other time (in the great days of mission? in the early Church?). Don’t believe it. He is ever-present, seeking to be intimately involved in the unique, local life to which each of us is called.
Ask God to show you how he’s at work in your town. Pray for what he’s doing and how you can be involved.
Lord Jesus, I pray that You’ll be doing amazing things all around me and You’ll allow me to be involved.
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