Not Welcome Everywhere
By Edwin Christiaan
“When they heard this, the people in the synagogue were furious. Jumping up, they mobbed Him and took Him to the edge of the hill on which the city was built. They intended to push Him over the cliff, but He slipped away through the crowd and left them.” Luke 4:28-30 NLT
This is the story about Jesus, who traveled back to his boyhood hometown of Nazareth. In the beginning, the people who came to listen to Him speaking in the synagogue seemed to be amazed and excited, saying nice things about Him.
“All who were there spoke well of Him and were amazed by the gracious words that fell from His lips. “How can this be?” they asked. “Isn’t this Joseph’s son?” Luke 4:22 NLT
But then, Jesus, knowing that their true hearts didn’t really believe Him, angered the people of Nazareth by comparing them with the wicked unbelieving citizens of Israel in the time of the prophets Elijah and Elisha, as He emphasized the following to them:
“But the truth is, no prophet is accepted in his own hometown.” Luke 4:24 NLT
Upon hearing this, the people of Nazareth decided to kill Jesus by pushing Him over the cliff, but Jesus slipped away through the crowd and left them.
The moral of this story is that Jesus himself was not accepted as a prophet in His own hometown. That is why we should not be surprised that our Christian life and faith are not easily understood or accepted by those who know us well. Ultimately, God will make us slip away from them, and leave them.
That is the reason Jesus also said that your enemies will be right in your own household, meaning your own birth place – also including the family of believers in your hometown – like the people of Nazareth, Jesus’ boyhood town.
“Don’t imagine that I came to bring peace to the earth! No, I came to bring a sword. I have come to set a man against his father, and a daughter against her mother, and a daughter-in-law against her mother-in-law. Your enemies will be right in your own household!” Matthew 10:34-36 NLT
In other words, Jesus’ presence in our lives will inevitably cause conflict to arise with those in the family who do not follow Jesus.
Therefore, how much people love God can be measured by how well they treat you.
“Anyone who welcomes you is welcoming me, and anyone who welcomes me is welcoming the Father who sent me. If you welcome a prophet as one who speaks for God, you will receive the same reward a prophet gets. And if you welcome good and godly people because of their godliness, you will be given a reward like theirs.” Matthew 10:40-41 NLT
Jesus taught His disciples as He sent them out to minister the following, which also pertains to us believers who are called to preach the Gospel:
“Don’t hesitate to accept hospitality, because those who work deserve to be fed. Whenever you enter a city or village, search for a worthy man and stay in his home until you leave for the next town. When you are invited into someone’s home, give it your blessing. If it turns out to be a worthy home, let your blessing stand; if it is not, take back the blessing. If a village doesn’t welcome you or listen to you, shake off the dust of that place from your feet as you leave.” Matthew 10:10-14 NLT
Copyright©2009 Sophia & Edwin Christiaan