What Jesus Did! – 'Home Court Disadvantage' – Luke 4:22-24
Everyone spoke well of [Jesus] and was amazed by the gracious words that came from his lips. “How can this be?” they asked. “Isn’t this Joseph’s son?”
Then he said, “You will undoubtedly quote me this proverb: ‘Physician, heal yourself’ — meaning, ‘Do miracles here in your hometown like those you did in Capernaum.’ But I tell you the truth, no prophet is accepted in his own hometown.”
In sports, teams play all season to have the home-court advantage in the playoffs. Yet the ancient proverb is true in matters religious: “No prophet is accepted in his own hometown.” While we can think of lots of reasons why that would be true, the bottom line is that we expect our experts to be from out of town with credentials that include places we haven’t been and degrees we haven’t earned. To have someone from among us be used by God in special ways can provoke jealousy and stir cynicism. That’s why it was so important that Jesus be one of us — to show us that the way we are to walk is actually possible. That there were no great expectations of Jesus by those among whom he was raised should not surprise us. That he grew up like all of us did (with family and friends in a real-life historical setting) should motivate us to reach for more than our shallow dreams often allow. While we may be saddened by Jesus’ rejection by his hometown folks, let’s not allow the same thing happen with those whom God would use mightily among us. Let’s encourage them to Kingdom greatness and believe that God can make any among us — young or old, big or small, male or female, including you and me — into someone great for his use.
Father, use me to encourage your people to find their gifts to serve you. Use my faith and conviction to help them dream bigger dreams for your Kingdom and for their place of service in that Kingdom. Raise up from among us great leaders for your church, for both now and its future, and for the cause of Christ. In his name. Amen.
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