Scripture: Luke 4:
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, "prophets are not accepted in their hometowns. 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 [g] 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.
Observation: We can only receive new insight and wisdom when we realize that we don’t have all the answers.
Application: Jesus had just read from the ancient scrolls and was well received by the people in the synagogue, but just as quickly as they had praised his wisdom, they turned on him and drove him out of town. Why was there such a quick change of opinion here? It is because Jesus started with something they could agree with, but then challenged their sincerity and exclusiveness.
What angered the religious folks that day was that Jesus reminded them that God doesn’t send true wisdom to those who think they already have it all figured out. Israel was God’s chosen people, but why had so many of God’s true prophets went around them and reached out to others? Because the others were willing to hear a new truth from God.
Why are prophets not accepted in their hometowns? Because they say things that take the people outside of the safety zones that they’ve built around themselves. If I say to you, "those people down the road are bullheaded and won’t listen to the truth that God is trying to give them," you are much more likely to agree with me than if I say the same things about you. The religious people of the synagogue thought they had everything about God figured out, so rather than try to break down the walls of tradition and understanding that had been built for generation upon generation, the new understanding, and the wisdom and truth of God would be given to those who had no such walls.
It’s easy to build up our systems, and nail down our doctrines, but I think what God really wants us to do is to open our hearts and listen for the teaching of His Spirit that is still active, alive and working through us today.
"Knowledge speaks, but wisdom listens." ~ Jimi Hendrix, Sometimes God speaks to us in the most unusual ways and through the most unlikely of people. Open your hearts people of God, truly love one another and you will hear God’s voice in a fresh new way.
Prayer: Father God,
Thank you for your wisdom, your love, your grace and mercy that is fresh and new each morning. Grant me today the ability to look beyond my own understanding and to gain new insight from Your Spirit. Help me to be guided by you in all things and to glorify you in all that I say, think or do.