And they said, “Is not this Joseph's son?” And he said to them, “Doubtless you will quote to me this proverb, ‘Physician, heal yourself.’ What we have heard you did at Capernaum, do here in your hometown as well.” And he said, “Truly, I say to you, no prophet is acceptable in his hometown. But in truth, I tell you, there were many widows in Israel in the days of Elijah, when the heavens were shut up three years and six months, and a great famine came over all the land, and Elijah was sent to none of them but only to Zarephath, in the land of Sidon, to a woman who was a widow. And there were many lepers in Israel in the time of the prophet Elisha, and none of them was cleansed, but only Naaman the Syrian.” When they heard these things, all in the synagogue were filled with wrath. And they rose up and drove him out of the town and brought him to the brow of the hill on which their town was built, so that they could throw him down the cliff. But passing through their midst, he went away.
What is it about Jesus that brings out the best and worst in people? The folks listening to him in his hometown synagogue began by dismissing him as the son of the local carpenter and ended up trying to take his life. There is something about truth spoken by a prophet that has a polarizing affect on listeners. It was true of Jesus in the same way that it was for prophets like Elijah and Elisha. People sometimes simply cannot get past their prejudices.
Isn't it interesting how God so often uses people to minister to strangers? I wonder why it is so often easier to hear God in the words of strangers than in the words of family members? Perhaps it is simply difficult for us to change our perceptions of them? In truth it is hard to forget the past and embrace the present. It is easier to rely on antiquated traditions and old perceptions of people. It is the reason that we must seek the Lord for direction each day.
Help me Lord to shed my past paradigms and embrace your mission for me today.