What Jesus Did! 'Home Court Disadvantage' — Luke 4:22-24

Thursday, February 26, 2015

All the people said good things about Jesus. They were amazed at the beautiful words Jesus spoke. The people said, "{How can he speak like this?} He is only Joseph's son, isn't he?" Jesus said to them, "I know that you will tell me the old saying: 'Doctor, heal yourself.' You want to say, 'We heard about some things that you did in Capernaum. Do those same things here in your own home town!'" Then Jesus said, "I tell you the truth. A prophet is not accepted in his own home town."
— Luke 4:22-24
Illustration of Luke 4:22-24 — "I tell you the truth. A prophet is not accepted in his own home town."

Key Thought

In sports, teams play all season to have the home-court advantage in the playoffs. Yet the ancient proverb is true in matters religious, "A prophet is not without honor, except among his own folks in his own hometown and in his own family." 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 specifically show us that the way we are to walk is 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 let the same thing happen with those that 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, and including you and me—into something great for his use.

Today's Prayer

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 our congregation great leaders for the future of your Church and for the cause of Christ. In Jesus' name. Amen.

Today's Verses in Context

Jesus went back to Galilee with the power of the Holy Spirit. Stories about Jesus spread all over the area around Galilee. Jesus began to teach in the synagogues. All the people praised him. Jesus traveled to Nazareth, the town where he grew up. On the Sabbath day he went to the synagogue like he always did. Jesus stood up to read. The book of Isaiah the prophet was given to him. Jesus opened the book and found the place where this is written: "The Spirit of the Lord (God) has come to me. God chose me to tell good news to people that are poor. God sent me to tell people who are prisoners that they are free, and to tell the blind people that they can see again. God sent me to free the weak people from their suffering and to announce that the time has come for the Lord to show his kindness." Jesus closed the book. He gave the book back to the helper and sat down. Every person in the synagogue watched Jesus closely. Jesus began to speak to them. He said, "While you heard me reading these words just now, the words were coming true!" All the people said good things about Jesus. They were amazed at the beautiful words Jesus spoke. The people said, "{How can he speak like this?} He is only Joseph's son, isn't he?" Jesus said to them, "I know that you will tell me the old saying: 'Doctor, heal yourself.' You want to say, 'We heard about some things that you did in Capernaum. Do those same things here in your own home town!'" Then Jesus said, "I tell you the truth. A prophet is not accepted in his own home town. What I say is true. During the time of Elijah it did not rain in Israel for three and a half years. There was no food anywhere in the whole country. There were many widows in Israel during that time. But Elijah was sent to none of those widows {in Israel}. Elijah was sent only to a widow in Zarephath, a town in Sidon. And there were many people with leprosy living in Israel during the time of the prophet Elisha. But none of those people were healed; the only one wasNaaman. And Naaman was from the country of Syria, {not from Israel}." All the people in the synagogue heard these things. They became very, very angry. The people got up and forced Jesus to go out of town. Their town was built on a hill. They brought Jesus to the edge of the hill. The people wanted to throw him off. But Jesus walked through the middle of them and went away.

Luke 4:14-30

Related Scripture Readings

There is one body and one Spirit. And God called you to have one hope. There is one Lord, one faith, and one baptism. There is one God and Father of everything. He rules everything. He is everywhere and in everything. Christ gave each one of us a special gift. Each person received what Christ wanted to give that person. And that same Christ gave gifts to people—he made some people to be apostles, some people to be prophets, some people to go and tell the Good News, and some people to have the work of caring for and teaching God's people. Christ gave those gifts to prepare God's holy people for the work of serving. He gave those gifts to make the body of Christ stronger. {This work must continue} until we are all joined together in the same faith and in the same knowledge about the Son of God. We must become like a mature (perfect) person—we must grow until we become like Christ and have all his perfection. Then we will not still be babies. We will not be people who change like a ship that the waves carry one way and then another. We will not be influenced (changed) by every new teaching we hear from people who try to fool us. Those people make plans and try any kind of trick to fool people into following the wrong way. No! We will speak the truth with love. We will grow to be like Christ in every way. Christ is the head {and we are the body}. The whole body depends on Christ. And all the parts of the body are joined and held together. Each part of the body does its own work. And this makes the whole body grow and be strong with love.

Ephesians 4:4-7, 11-16

Command and teach these things. You are young, but don't let any person treat you like you are not important. Be an example to show the believers how they should live. Show them with the things you say, with the way you live, with your love, with your faith, and with your pure life. Continue to read the Scriptures to the people, strengthen them, and teach them. Do those things until I come. Remember to use the gift that you have. That gift was given to you through a prophecy when the group of elders put their hands on you. Continue to do those things. Give your life to doing those things. Then all the people can see that your work is progressing (continuing). Be careful in your life and in your teaching. Continue to live and teach rightly. Then you will save yourself and those people who listen to your teaching.

1 Timothy 4:11-16

The Word was already in the world. The world was made through him. But the world (people) did not know him. He came to the world that was his own. But his own people did not accept him. Some people did accept him. They believed in him. He gave something to those people who believed. He gave them the right to become children of God.

John 1:10-12

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About This Devotional

What Jesus Did is a one-year devotional guide through the gospels, using one short passage each day and following the Gospel in consecutive order. Each devotional consists of a passage, reflection and a prayer which opens up the day's scripture and shows how it challenges you to live for Jesus.

What Jesus Did! is written by Phil Ware.

Easy-to-Read Version copyright © 2001 by World Bible Translation Center. All rights reserved.