“Truly, I say to you, no prophet is accepted in his own country” – Luke 4:24, MEV
Jesus is in the synagogue in Nazareth where as, His custom was, He went there on the Sabbath day. He stood up to read. He read what Isaiah prophesied about Him in 61:1, 2.
After He finished reading, He sat down and all eyes were on Him. It was then that He told them that the scripture He had just read was fulfilled that very day in their hearing.
At first they marvelled at His gracious words but that soon changed when Jesus got to the heart of the matter. He told them the truth which was that no prophet was accepted in his own country. He quoted the proverb, “Physician, heal yourself, whatever we have heard you do in Capernaum, do it here too.” In other words, do these things in your own country.
Jesus reminded them that although there were many widows in Israel during the three and a half years of no rain and famine, the prophet Elijah was sent to a Gentile widow. The widow did as he told her and make a cake for him although she but only a handful of meal in a barrel and a little oil in a jar. Her act of faith resulted in her, Elijah and her household ate for many days and the barrel of meal did not run out, nor did the jar of oil empty, according to the word of the Lord, which He spoke by Elijah (1 Kings 17:7-16, MEV).
There were many lepers in Israel but Elisha cleansed none of them except Naaman, the Syrian. Naaman was a great and honorable man in the eyes of his master because by him, the Lord had given victory to Syria. He was a mighty man of valor (2 Kings 5:1).
John 3:19 – “And this is the condemnation, that the light has come into the world, and men loved darkness rather than light, because their deeds were evil.”
We see how fickle the people are. They were fine where Jesus quoted Isaiah but when He rebuked them, their reaction was violent. They had heard of His miracles and wonders and were thrilled that He had returned to His home town. That’s why they said, “Is this not Joseph’s Son?” We know Him, they seemed to say. We know His family. We heard of all the great things He has done in other places. Perhaps they thought He would perform some of those miracles there. He was accepted throughout Galilee before He went to Nazareth and news of Him went through all the surrounding region which is most likely how the people of Nazareth heard about Him.
Jesus taught in the synagogues in Galilee and was glorified by all. Not so in Nazareth. Once He pointed out, using examples of Elijah and Elisha, that prophets, are more welcomed, accepted by others and not by their own, the people of Nazareth were filled with wrath. Jesus hit a nerve. No one likes when their true motives, nature, or spiritual condition are brought to light. They tried to push Him off a hill but Jesus slipped away.
How do we react when someone points out sin in our lives or bring to light something in our lives that we need to change? Do we reject them? Do we turn against them? Do we run them out of our lives? What is it about truth that make people get so bent out of shape?
What condition would Jesus find you in when He comes into your life? Will you turn to Him? He promised that, “While you have light, believe in the light that you may become sons of light” (John 12:35, MEV). Or will you turn away from Him because you prefer your life the way it is? I pray that you will choose to accept Him.