Monday, 14 June 2021
Then He said, “Assuredly, I say to you, no prophet is accepted in his own country.” -Luke 4:24
Galilee was the scene of the greater part of our Lord Jesus’ life and ministry. Galilee itself was divided into the Upper and Lower- the upper territory referred to as the “Galilee of the Gentiles” bordering Tyre and Sidon with numerous non-Jews being part of its population. Having grown up in Galilee and after the age of thirty, much of his public ministry was done in the surrounding regions of Galilee. The people of Galilee were looked down upon by the Jews, hence the name “Galilean” was often given as an insult, both to Jesus and His followers.
The events in today’s reading record some of Jesus’ ministry in this region. We read Jesus came to Galilee strengthened by the power of the Holy Spirit. In one of the synagogues in Galilee where Jesus regularly worshipped and taught, on one Sabbath He read from the Scripture, presented Himself as the fulfillment of God’s promise as recorded in Isaiah. V.22 says: “All spoke well of him and were amazed at the gracious words that came from his lips.” Though they were amazed, after hearing His words, they became furious and wanted to kill Him.
What Made Them Furious?
On one hand, the excellence of Jesus’ teaching and the greatness of the miracles he performed, caused all the people to admire and praise him. But on the other, they could not accept Him as they considered him ordinary, the son of Joseph the Carpenter. He started by saying “no prophet is accepted in his hometown” because Jesus knew the hearts of men and knew just what they were thinking. He compared their time with the olden times during the time of Elijah and Elisha.
What did Jesus mean from this comparison? Jesus was saying that if His ministry was correctly understood, He too would be rejected like all the other prophets in Israel’s history. Prophets were not well received by Israel. God sent Elijah to do good to a native of Sidon and Elisha to do good to a Syrian, while He left aside the ungrateful and disobedient Israelites. God rejected the Israelites for their unbelief, rejection and disobedience to God.
God is not a respecter of persons. In both instances, a prophet of Israel brought blessing to Gentiles which their own people could not receive. Prophets weren’t received as they were mostly sent to condemn sin and pronounce God’s judgment to their own people. Similarly, Jesus was telling them that He too came to remind them of their sin and bring blessing to all who would seek Him. If they truly believed and received Him, they too would have seen the miracles He performed in Capernaum. But because of their contempt and unbelief, He could not perform any miracles in their midst.
When the Word of God reveals our sin, are we like the Jews who were furious and rejected Him? Or are we humble enough to accept that we have done wrong and turn from sin? Heb 10:26-27 says, “Now after receiving His Grace and if we deliberately keep on sinning after we have received the knowledge of the truth no sacrifice of sin is left, but only a fearful expectation of judgment and of raging fire that will consume the enemies of God.” But 1 John 1:9 says “If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness.”
What will you choose to do today? Will you humble yourself before the word of God or reject it? It is better to obey Him who loved us enough to give His life as a ransom to bring us to God.
Let us Pray:
Almighty God, I acknowledge that Jesus Christ came to redeem me from sin to draw me to You. May I continue to obey Your Word and finish my race well till I meet You. In Jesus’ name, Amen.