Everyone spoke well of him 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 (Jesus) 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. Certainly there were many needy widows in Israel in Elijah’s time, when the heavens were closed for three and a half years, and a severe famine devastated the land. Yet Elijah was not sent to any of them. He was sent instead to a foreigner—a widow of Zarephath in the land of Sidon. And there were many lepers in Israel in the time of the prophet Elisha, but the only one healed was Naaman, a Syrian.”
When they heard this, the people in the synagogue were furious. Jumping up, they mobbed him (Jesus) and forced him to the edge of the hill on which the town was built. They intended to push him over the cliff, but he passed right through the crowd and went on his way. Luke 4:22-30 (NLT)
Jesus came into the synagogue, read an ancient text, proclaimed and Himself to be the Messiah. Jesus revealed Himself to the folks at home; the ones who should accept Him. At first they did. Until…until Jesus did what He does best. He confronted their hearts; their attitudes, those pesky notions that lead to actions. That enraged the listeners.
Once again, it’s apparent how relevant the Bible is. The consistency of humanity is on display; people are people, the ancient and modern. The reaction to Jesus has not really changed in the past 2,000 years.
It’s easy to be amazed at Jesus’ gracious words. That is exactly where many people stop. Christ is full of grace and truth according to the apostle John. Jesus isn’t content for you to be charmed with His sweet words. He wants so much more for you. That is why He is full of grace AND truth; we all love the grace, we all resist the truth. Truth requires change. Ick!!
How many of you have tried to change someone you love? You know you have. My hubby can’t or won’t observe the “clean side – dirty side” of the sink rule I’ve tried to implement for the past 14 years. Since Terry is an intelligent man, I have to conclude his noncompliance is more a “won’t” than a “can’t” because I know he CAN. I have tried over the years to convey the need to obverse my rule. Still I haven’t changed his behavior because I can’t change his heart.
Jesus wants to change your heart, which leads to a change in behavior. Not with the same selfish motives you and I have when we attempt to conform others to our wishes. Read Isaiah 61. Jesus has a mandate from His Father, to bring good news to the poor, to stitch-up broken hearts, to make those who are captive free, to bring blessing to those who mourn.
If you have rejected Jesus because you fear He wants to change you into something you’re not, embrace Him. He wants to change you into the person God intend you to be – joyful, whole, free, blessed. If you know Christ and are furious with Him because He’s tried to change you, let Him. His changes result in festive praise. His changes make you righteous.
Embrace the baby that’s celebrated this month. Jesus came with grace and truth. Jesus comes to restore the relationship with God and you that God intended from the beginning.
Let this baby change you.