Pastor John’s Bible Stories For Grown-ups
10/03/16 – 582 – Jesus Declares Himself the Messiah
We’re going to step back again to yesterday and revisit the passage we read then.
24 “I tell you the truth,” 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 down the cliff. 30 But he walked right through the crowd and went on his way. NIV
You may recall we began to discuss why a prophet is not accepted in his hometown. The people were only seeing Jesus as the son of Joseph the carpenter. There may have been jealousy on their part that He had actually become a rabbi! Either way, they didn’t like it. And they certainly didn’t like having it thrown in their faces.
They obviously didn’t care for Jesus’ answer either. He pretty much told them that because of their resistance and stubbornness, God was not going to save them. He pointed out similar situations in the past in which the people had rejected the prophets sent by God, and in so doing rejected God also.
Because of this, even though there was obviously a pressing need, God did not send anyone else to help them. In fact, Jesus pointed out that the only person who got help wasn’t even a Jew – it was Nathan the Syrian who sought out the prophet to find healing for his leprosy! That went over like the proverbial lead balloon.
The crowd drove Jesus out of the synagogue and all to the edge of town, intending to kill Him by throwing him off a cliff. But once again He showed His power by simply walking through the angry mob and disappearing, leaving the people to scratch their heads and wonder what happened.
I think that one of the main things we need to learn from this story is that when God decides to use someone to do His work here on earth, we’d better not ignore that person! It doesn’t matter if we grew up next door to that person, because God can use anyone He wants to, for any purpose.
It is up to us to assess, not to accept blindly anything anyone says using God’s name. There are and will be many false teachers and prophets, and we know that. But in the meantime, let’s pray for the wisdom and discretion to recognize those men and women that are truly sent by god for whatever reason.