Jesus began speaking in the synagogue, saying: “Today this Scripture passage is fulfilled in your hearing.” And all spoke highly of him and were amazed at the gracious words that came from his mouth. They also asked, “Isn’t this the son of Joseph?” He said to them, “Surely you will quote me this proverb, ‘Physician, cure yourself,’ and say, ‘Do here in your native place the things that we heard were done in Capernaum.'” And he said, “Amen, I say to you, no prophet is accepted in his own native place. Indeed, I tell you, there were many widows in Israel in the days of Elijah when the sky was closed for three and a half years and a severe famine spread over the entire land. It was to none of these that Elijah was sent, but only to a widow in Zarephath in the land of Sidon. Again, there were many lepers in Israel during the time of Elisha the prophet; yet not one of them was cleansed, but only Naaman the Syrian.” When the people in the synagogue heard this, they were all filled with fury. They rose up, drove him out of the town, and led him to the brow of the hill on which their town had been built, to hurl him down headlong. But Jesus passed through the midst of them and went away.
Imagine this. We grow-up with a guy our age that lives next door to us. He’s a nice guy and very kind, but when he turns 30 years old, he starts evangelizing for God. We might think to ourselves, “Hey, this is Tony – the guy that played tee-ball and that we graduated from high school with”… We might think, “How is he qualified to tell us about God?”… There’s no doubt that Something’s different now about Tony, but he didn’t go to Moody Bible College, he’s not an Ordained Priest or Pastor, etc., so, why would we listen to what he has to say. Now, imagine that Tony went a step further and claimed to be the Son of God and did it at the Vatican in front of the Pope!? In John 3:3, Jesus answered Nicodemus by telling him that “Truly, truly, I say to you, unless one is born again he cannot see the kingdom of God.” When we open our hearts to Jesus, we are Born-Again and we change. The Holy Spirit moves in our Souls in a way we might have never let Him before in our lives. And, hopefully, people notice. So, when we are Changed by Christ, we are not to be discouraged when some of those closest to us are offended, turned-off, etc. That’s a normal reaction to a big change and accepting Christ in our hearts will be the Biggest Change we ever make in our lives. Like Jesus, when the people in the Synagogue rose-up to hurl Him down the hill, we are to also pass through the midst of those who are uncomfortable with our Change and keep our eyes fixed on the Leader and Perfecter of Faith – Jesus Christ. And, like Jesus did on the Cross, we can freely-accept other’s punishments for our Faith and, in so doing, show all the Face of Christ and what it really means to be Born-Again!