Through Their Midst (Luke 4:30)

But passing through their midst, He went His way.

Luke 4:30

This verse, in context, takes place after Jesus has returned to the town where He grew up — Nazareth. He reads to them from Isaiah and tells them that the prophecy in question has been fulfilled. Everyone is amazed. But He keeps going. He reminds them that a prophet is only without honor in his home town and that Elijah was sent to a foreign widow, not to a woman of Israel and that Elisha was sent to cleanse a Syrian leper, not one of those in Israel. After pointing out to them that they are not going to like Him or afford Him the honor that is due a prophet or teacher, He is “escorted” by the mob up to a cliff top where they intend to toss Him over the edge. That brings me to this morning’s verse.

Jesus had not said anything untrue. Elijah was sent to a foreign widow and Elisha was told to heal Naaman, the Syrian commander who contracted leprosy. Prophets, those who speak the unadulterated word of God, are without honor in their home town. Those who saw a prophet grow up remember the times when the child, before becoming a prophet or even an adult, got up to childish antics and mischief. The problem is, I suspect, too much familiarity with the prophet. The folks who saw the prophet grow know the prophet “too well” to think much of “this new thing” that the prophet is up to. It happens today when people come out of a lifestyle of sin into salvation. Those who “knew them when” find that they cannot take the converted person seriously.

All of that to come around to what caught my attention this morning. The crowd did not take Jesus at His word and tried to kill Him. The crowd would get their way in about three years’ time, but this time Jesus passes through their midst and goes His way.

How often does that happen? More often than I would like to admit, I suspect. How often does Jesus come to me with a difficult truth and, instead of listening and taking Him at His word, I try to show Him the door? The heartbreaking truth of the matter is that He will pass through and go His way. He will not remain where He is unwelcome and if I am hostile to Him and the truth He brings, He will go on His way.

God, please make my ears attentive to Your truth and my heart ready to receive it. Though it be difficult and sometimes painful, let me welcome it and not reach the place where You pass through and go on Your way.

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